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Biographical entry Clifford, Harold Trevor (Trevor) (1927 - 2019)


18 April 1927
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
4 May 2019


Trevor Clifford was an Honorary Research Associate of the Queensland Herbarium and an Honorary Fellow (Geoscience) of the Queensland Museum. Throughout his career, which included a thirty-four year tenure at the University of Queensland, he received many scholarships and awards from top funding bodies including the Nuffield, Carlsberg German Cultural and University of Queensland Foundations. As part of his Master of Science Degree, Clifford mapped 180 square kilometres of the Dandenong Ranges, analysed the geographical distribution of the eucalypts, and prepared a relief model of the area. This study was the foundation for his life-long fascination with plant genetics, statistics and evolution. Clifford next received an Australian National University Scholarship to study at the University of Durham (U.K.) for a Doctor of Philosophy Degree. On completion of these studies he accepted a lectureship in Agricultural Botany at the University College of Ibadan in Nigeria. In 1958 he returned to Australia taking up a Lectureship in Botany at the University of Queensland. He retired in 1992 with the title of Prof Emeritus. His landmark publications include works on grass identification, The families of monocotyledons (1985) with Rolf Dahlgren, and Keys to the families of Queensland flowering plants (Magnoliophyta) (1972) with G. Ludlow.



Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
1948 - 1953
Career position - Botany Tutor, then Senior Tutor and part-time Lecturer at the University of Melbourne.
Education - Master of Science (MSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
1953 - 1955
Education - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) completed at Durham University (conferred 1956)
1955 - 1958
Career position - Lecturer in Agricultural Botany at University College, Ibadan in Nigeria
1958 - 1983
Career position - Lecturer in Botany, University of Queensland
1965 - 2019
Award - Fellow of the Linnean Society
Education - Doctor of Science (DSc) received from the University of Melbourne
1982 - 1983
Career position - President, Australian Systematic Botany Society
1983 - 1992
Career position - Professor of Botany, University of Queensland
Career position - Visiting Professor at the Agricultural University in Beijing, China
1992 -
Career position - Emeritus Professor, University of Queensland
Life event - Retired
Career position - Visiting Professor at the University Nusa Cendana in Kapang, Indonesia
1995 -
Career position - Honorary Research Fellow (Geoscience), Queensland Museum
2015 - 2019
Award - Life Member, Royal Society of Queensland
Award - Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to botany, and to tertiary education

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • H. Trevor Clifford - Records, c. 1971 - c. 1995, MS 188; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Harold Trevor Clifford - Records, MS 13608; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

Edited Books

  • Clifford, Harold T. ed., Cambridge - Castlemaine: a Tribute to John Stewart Turner on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday (St Lucia: Botany Department, University of Queensland, 1988), 71 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Charters, Kate, 'Royal Society of Queensland, award of Life Member: Emeritus Professor Harold Trevor Clifford OAM invested as Life Member, December 2015', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 121 (2016), 87-8. Details
  • Clifford, H. Trevor, 'William Thomas Williams 1913-1995', Historical Records of Australian Science, 12 (1) (1998), 99-118. Details
  • Clifford, H. Trevor, 'David Goodall - multiple decades devoted to the service of ecological knowledge, a whole century devoted to the enjoyment of life', Tropical ecology, 56 (1) (2015), 133-5. Details
  • Clifford, H. Trevor, 'In memoriam David William Goodall (4 April 1914 - 10 May 2018)', Journal of vegetation science, 29 (3) (2018), 569-72, Details
  • Clifford, H.T., 'Seed dispersal by motor vehicles. 47, 311-315.', Journal of Ecology, 47 (1959), 311-315. Details
  • Clifford, H.T. and Williams, W.T., 'Classificatory dendrograms and their interpretation.', Australian Journal of Botany, 21 (1973), 151-162.. Details
  • Watson, L. and Clifford, H.T., 'Major groups of Australasian grasses - guide to sampling.', Australian journal of Botany, 24 (1976), 489-507. Details


Annette Alafaci