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Biographical entry Ellis, Robert (Bob) C.

Dr (PhD)

United Kingdom
Forest scientist


Bob Ellis contributed significantly to the development of uneven-aged silviculture for highland eucalypt forests and was a strong advocate of uneven-aged management of highland and dry eucalypt forests. He became president of the Institute of Foresters from 1987-1991 prior to his retirement in 1995.


Bob Ellis was born in the United Kingdom and gained an honours degree in forestry from the University of Wales in Bangor in 1956. He undertook post-graduate studies in Canada prior to joining the Tasmanian Forestry Commission in 1960. Ellis gained a PhD from the University of Melbourne in the 1960s and then worked for CSIRO in Tasmania on eucalypt silviculture and ecology, particularly that of highland forests dominated by Eucalyptus delegatensis. Ellis was one of the first people to study the causes of high altitude dieback in E. delegatensis forests and of the poor vigour of E. delegatensis regeneration established after clearfelling on upland plateau with a grassy understory. He also documented the colonisation by rainforest of former grasslands and eucalypt forests in upland plateau in north-east Tasmania following the cessation of Aboriginal burning in the early 19th century. Ellis used his knowledge of soils to provide a valuable insight into the effects clearfelling on soil nutrients in wet eucalypt forests.


Education - Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Forestry, University of Wales, Bangor
Career event - Joined Tasmanian Forestry Commission
Education - PhD, University of Melbourne
1987 - 1991
Career position - President, Institute of Foresters Australia
Award - N W Jolly Medal, Institute of Foresters Australia

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Conference Papers

  • Ellis, R.C., 'Effects of Settlement on the Forests of the Central Plateau, Tasmania', in Australia's Ever-Changing Forests II: Proceedings of the Second National Conference on Australia's Forest History, Creswick, 1992 edited by John Dargavel and Sue Feary (Creswick: ANU Society, 1992), pp. 55-66.. Details

Journal Articles

  • Ellis, R.C., 'Dieback of alpine ash in north eastern Tasmania. Australian', Australian Forestry, 28 (1964), 75-90. Details
  • Ellis, R.C., 'The relationships among eucalypt forest, grassland and rainforest in a highland area in north-eastern Tasmania.', Australian Journal of Ecology, 10 (1985), 297-314. Details
  • Ellis, R.C. and Graley, A.A., 'Gains and losses in soil nutrients associated with harvesting and burning eucalypt rainforest.', Plant and Soil, 74 (3) (1983), 437-450. Details
  • Ellis, R.C., Mount, A.B. and Mattay, J.P., 'Recovery of Eucalyptus delegatensis from high altitude dieback after felling and burning the understorey.', Australian Forestry, 43 (1980), 29-35. Details
  • Ellis, R.C., Ratkowsky, D.A., Mattay, J.P. and Rout, A.F., 'Growth of Eucalyptus delegatensis following partial harvesting of multi-aged stands.', Australian Forestry, 50 (2) (1987), 95-105. Details



  • Ellis, R.C., 'Some factors effecting the differentiation of forest sites in southern Victoria', PhD thesis, University of Melbourne, 1967, 234 pp. Details

John Hickey