Obituaries

Professor Brian Kay

Professor Brian Kay AM FAA FACTM
1944 to 2017

Professor Brian Kay was one of the pre-eminent entomologists from Australia dealing with a range of regional arbovirus problems, especially dengue. He published extensively on mosquito bionomics, diagnostics, vector competence, epidemiology and innovative mosquito control, including a landmark strategy against dengue in The Lancet. He also made significant contributions to the understanding of arbovirus ecology in Australia, including the Ross River and Murray Valley encephalitis viruses. Professor Kay was honoured in the Queen’s birthday list in 2005 with an AM for his work on the elimination of arbovirus diseases in northern Australia and Asia.

Professor Kay was an Emeritus Professor at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. He was elected to the Academy in 2006, served on Academy sectional committees, and was a generous donor to the Academy.

Professor Ken Campbell. Photo courtesy of The Canberra Times

Professor Ken Campbell FAA FGSAust
1927 to 2017

Professor Ken Campbell was distinguished for the breadth and depth of his research into vertebrate palaeontology, early evolution and Palaeozoic stratigraphy. Professor Campbell worked with fossils that are 300-400 million years old and had several named after him, including Kenichthys campbelli found in China. He received many prestigious awards and prizes for his work, including the Academy’s Mawson Medal and Lecture (1986), the Geological Society of Australia WR Browne Medal (2006) and the Royal Society of NSW Clarke Medal in 2010. In 2013 he was the first Australian working in Australia to receive the prestigious RC Moore medal for Excellence in Palaeontology from the US Society for Sedimentary Geology.

Professor Campbell was elected to the Academy in 1983. He served on many Academy committees and on the Academy’s Council from 1990 to 1993. Professor Campbell also contributed to the Academy’s international engagement and served on the China Exchange Program.

Professor Ian Cowan.

Professor Ian Cowan FAA
1931 to 2017

Professor Ian Cowan moved from CSIRO to join Dr Ralph Slatyer AC FAA FRS FTSE and Professor Barry Osmond FAA FRS in the newly formed Department of Environmental Biology, Research School of Biological Sciences at the Australian Natiounal University in 1968. His interests then moved towards plant physiology and ecology, particularly on the ways in which plants balance the competing requirements of conserving water and acquiring carbon. He was known for his outstanding theoretical and experimental contributions to knowledge of gas exchange in higher plants. His application of control theory led to a profound understanding of the system in which uptake of carbon dioxide and loss of water vapour are interrelated and regulated through the action of stomata in plant leaves. 

Professor Cowan’s PhD students (supervised or co-supervised) included Professor Graham Farquhar AO FAA FRS, Professor Marilyn Ball FAA, Professor Susanne von Caemmerer FAA FRS and Dr John Finnigan FAA.

He was elected to the Academy in 1984. He served on a sectional committee and on the Rudi Lemberg Travelling Fellowship Committee. Well after his retirement in 1993, Professor Cowan continued writing and intellectual pursuits focusing on the history and social implications of Darwinism.

© 2019 Australian Academy of Science

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