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Biographical entry Bornemissza, George Francis (1924 - 2010)


11 February 1924
Baja, Hungary
10 April 2010
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Entomologist, Zoological collector and Zoologist
Alternative Names
  • Bornemissza, Gy├Ârgy Ferenc


George Francis Bornemissza was a zoologist who's area of expertise and interest was insects and ecosystem conservation. It was his realisation that Australia's dung beetles were unable to cope with the dung of introduced cattle that led him to advocate the introduction of beetles that could bury the dung, thereby eliminating a breeding ground for flies and parasitic worms. As part of the CSIRO's Division of Entomology from 1955 to 1983, his research led to the establishment of the Dung Beetle Program (1965-1985) under which foreign dung beetle species was introduced to Australia. In identifying 150 species with potential to be effective, including during nine years stationed in Africa, Bornemissza was careful to select candidates that would not compete with native beetles. By 2007 it was determined that of the 43 species introduced by Bornemissza and his team, 23 had established throughout Australia with remarkable success in improving soil, water and pasture health and in eliminating blowflies. Bornemissza donated his collection of beetle specimens to the Australian National Insect Collection in 1990, with a further collection of over 5,000 specimens donated to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. In retirement he continued to collect beetles, including a world-wide collection of longicorn beetles (Prioninae). Over 20 species of beetle were named in his honour.



Life event - Emigrated to Western Australia
Education - Ph.D. In Zoology
c. 1952 - c. 1955
Career position - Employed at the Department of Zoology at the University of Western Australia
1955 - 1983
Career position - Employed at the CSIRO
Career position - Founding Member, Australian Entomological So
Career event - The Dung Beetle Program officially commenced
Award - Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to science and entomology, particularly through the ecological study of dung beetles and the introduction of new species to Australia
Award - CSIRO Service from Science Award
2006 - 2010
Award - Emeritus Fellow of Entomology, CSIRO
Award - Australian Geographic Conservationist of the Year

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Whitten, Max, 'Vale George Bornemissza', Myrmecia: News Bulletin of the Australian Entomological Society, 50 (3) (2014), 2-4. Details


Resource Sections

Rebecca Rigby and Helen Cohn