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Biographical entry Emmens, Clifford Walter (1913 - 1999)


9 December 1913
Peckham, England
22 June 1999
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Veterinary physiologist


Cliff Emmens was a veterinary physiologist and endocrinologist who was appointed in 1948 to establish the Department of Veterinary Physiology at the University of Sydney, becoming the inaugural Professor in 1950. He built a Department with a large staff and successful research output, largely with external funds. His early research involved work on bioassays and the development of protocols for freezing sperm at the National Institute of Medical Research and, during WWII, worked for the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Royal Air Force. Emmens' research in reproduction continued in Sydney, particularly into hormone bioassays, artificial insemination, freezing of sperm (including on a commercial basis), oestrogens and antioestrogens, and synthetic compounds and their possible anti-fertility and anti-tumour effects. In 1952 he was invited by CSIRO to set up its Sheep Biology Laboratory (later the Division of Animal Production) and for some time ran both his Department and the Laboratory. He was played a leading role in professional organisations, including as President of the Endocrine Society of Australia and Chairman of the Australian Society for Reproductive Biology. Emmens was an enthusiastic aquarist, his published output including over 20 books on keeping aquarium fish.



Education - BSc (Hons), University College, London
Education - MSc, University College, London
1937 - 1946
Career position - Research Biologist, National Institute of Medical Research, London
Education - PhD, University College, London
1941 - 1946
Career position - Seconded to the Ministry of Home Security and the Royal Air Force
1942 - 1954
Career position - Seconded as Officer-in-Charge, CSIRO Sheep Biology Laboratory
Education - DSc, University College, London
Life event - Migrated to New South Wales
1950 - 1978
Career position - Inaugural Professor of Veterinary Physiology, University of Sydney
1956 - 1999
Career position - Fellow, Australian Academy of Science
Award - Istituto Spallanzani Medal
1958 - 1982
Career position - Founding Member, Endocrine Society of Australia
1960 - 1962
Career position - President, Endocrine Society of Australia
Award - Oliver Bird Medal, Oliver Bird trust, United Kingdom
Career position - President, 2nd Asia and Oceania Congress of Endocrinology
March 1963 - 1964
Career position - President, Endocrine Society of Australia
1965 - 1968
Career position - Member of Council, Australian Academy of Science
1969 - ?
Career position - Founding Member, Australian Society of Reproductive Biology
1973 - 1977
Career position - Chairman, Australian Society for Reproductive Biology
Life event - Retired
1978 - 1999
Award - Honorary Fellow, Australian College of Veterinary Scientists
Award - Honorary DVSc, University of Sydney
1982 - 1999
Award - Life Member, Endocrine Society of Australia

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Published resources

Journal Articles


See also

  • Setchell, B. P., 'History of the Australian Society for Reproductive Biology 1968 - 1994', Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 75 (5) (1995), 961-6. Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn