Doug Waterhouse was a renowned entomologist, a fine scientist and an accomplished administrator. He worked within the CSIRO Division of Entomology for over 60 years, and was its Chief for 21 years until his retirement in 1981. Doug was responsible for many developments in insect and weed control both in Australia and around the globe, especially in developing countries across Asia and the Pacific. He not only guided the Division to international prominence, but was also an ardent humanitarian whose work had beneficial effects in many neighbouring countries. Much of his 'public good' work was done as an Honorary Fellow (1981-2000). As well as his extensive entomological interests, Doug was active in other areas such as education and community services. He was the foundation Chairman of the Canberra College of Advanced Education and continued as Chancellor when it became the University of Canberra.
Douglas Frew Waterhouse was born in Sydney on 3 June 1916, the second of four sons of (Eben) Gowrie Waterhouse OBE, CMG (born Waverley, a suburb of Sydney, 1881) and Janet Frew Waterhouse (née Kellie, born Ayr, Scotland, 1885). Doug recalled his mother with great affection. She had come from Kilmarnock, Scotland, earned an MA degree from the University of Glasgow, and had been a teacher of languages. She motivated her sons to be conscientious and hard working and to 'derive some satisfaction from having at least striven hard to achieve some goal'. Doug recalled her as being full of exhortations and wise sayings, such as 'Only the best is good enough'. After the family had grown, she developed great expertise in the art of Japanese flower arrangement, and became President of the Sydney Branch of the Ikebana Society. Doug's father, Gowrie Waterhouse, also the second of three sons, became Professor of German and Modern Languages and Literature at the University of Sydney. Professor Waterhouse had received the Goethe Medal and was also knighted by King Umberto of Italy for his contribution to teaching in European languages. He retired at age 64 to devote time to his special hobby – camellias, on which he published two outstanding books. Doug described his early recollections of his father as a 'figure in the background to be respected, but not to be distracted from his many academic and other activities'; however, that later, he became 'progressively more interested in our activities and we in his'.
Gowrie Waterhouse in 1913 commissioned W. Hardy Wilson, a highly regarded Sydney architect, to design an elegant home, 'Eryldene', in Gordon, a northern suburb of Sydney. Eryldene, with its renowned and much-visited garden, is maintained by the Eryldene Trust. The home and parents provided Doug with a culturally-rich environment; except perhaps in music, to which he was never much attracted, probably because he was tone deaf.
A number of family members were interested in natural history and some were collectors of sea shells, ethnographic artefacts and other items. Other members of Doug's large extended family included scientists in a variety of subjects, including botany, geology, and agriculture. Doug believed that he had been 'imprinted' to become an entomologist and recounted an occasion told to him by his mother when he was soothed as a young baby by grasping a weevil.
Doug's uncle, Dr G.A. (Athol) Waterhouse (1877-1950) had an early and lasting influence on his development and career. Athol maintained a lifelong interest in butterflies; he was awarded a DSc by the University of Sydney for his work on the origins of races of the genus Tisiphone (Nymphalidae). He had earlier obtained degrees in Science and in Engineering from the University of Sydney and had been on the staff of the Sydney Mint until it closed in 1926. In addition to numerous contributions to scientific journals, Athol published two significant books, the first (with G. Lyell) in 1914, The Butterflies of Australia, and the second in 1932, What Butterfly is That?. He arranged for Doug to become a Junior Member of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. In 1928 he was appointed Curator and Administrative Officer of the newly formed CSIR Division of Economic Entomology in Canberra to provide some measure of control over its first, rather erratic, Chief, R.J.Tillyard.
Before Doug's tenth birthday, Uncle Athol had given him collecting and preserving equipment, and later took him on numerous Saturday collecting trips in the vicinity of Sydney, from Bulli in the south to the Hawkesbury River in the north and the Blue Mountains in the west. One of us (MFD) was fortunate also to be invited on these expeditions. As a result of Athol's tutelage, in his early teens Doug already had a substantial knowledge of Australian butterflies and some understanding of other insect groups and biology generally.
Doug was educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School, North Sydney ('Shore'), from 1928-1933. He was considered 'a good but not outstanding student'. However, he did well enough to secure an Exhibition to the University of Sydney. At school he was a founding member of the Natural History Society. Doug excelled at the university, winning several prizes and graduating in 1937 with First Class Honours and the University Medal. One of his prizes was the second-year prize in practical chemistry. He recalled this achievement with relish because second place was awarded to John Cornforth, later Sir John, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. Doug's principal mentor in biology was Dr Anthony Woodhill, later to become Reader in Entomology, of whom he wrote (with D.J.Lee) a very appreciative and sympathetic obituary (69). Woodhill required honours students to select their own research projects but, having done so, helped his aspiring graduates whenever possible. Doug studied the anatomy and respiratory physiology of the larva of a large aquatic insect, Archicauliodes.
Research degrees were not available in Australia at that time so Doug earned his MSc and DSc degrees 'on the job', having joined CSIRO on completing his Bachelor's degree. In 1949 Doug spent a year at Cambridge University where he worked under Professor V.B. Wigglesworth examining the origin, structure and function of the peritrophic membrane. In 1956-57 he visited the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and Yale University and other laboratories in Canada and the USA, where he formed many fruitful and lasting friendships.
During his very full 85 years, Doug witnessed many profound changes in science and society. Not surprisingly, his attitude to science, and the way it might best serve society, evolved in response to these changing circumstances. Despite momentous developments, Doug never faltered in his commitment to science as a human endeavour capable of generating public good of immense cultural and economic value. Nor did his affinity for butterflies ever diminish. What did undergo a radical shift, however, was Doug's view of people's relationship with the environment, and the need to work in harmony with nature, rather than dominating or controlling it. The maturation of Doug's thinking is well illustrated if we divide his career into four periods: the 22formative years as a student; his next 20 or so years as a practising scientist; his third period of 25years as a research leader; and, finally, his 20 'retirement' years as an Honorary Fellow.
Until early manhood, Doug was content to explore and appreciate nature. With his Uncle Athol, Doug explored the rich and diverse world of insects in and around Sydney. He had no interest in controlling nature; it was simply something to understand and enjoy.
Doug's research in CSIRO Entomology focused primarily on Lucilia cuprina, the Australian Sheep Blowfly. He studied its physiology (in particular, digestion and excretion), ecology and population control. His research was a blend of the strategic and tactical. He addressed practical projects like fly dressings and burying carrion to reduce breeding sites. Doug was greatly impressed by the new generation of powerful insecticides like DDT and Dieldrin. Such synthetic compounds represented potentially universal and lasting solutions to many insect pest problems. Like many other scientists at the time, Doug was enthused with the potential of pesticides to 'control' nature. Over time, Doug came to reject scientific modernism so well epitomized by high-input agriculture. This alternative thinking began to emerge early in the third phase of Doug's career, and matured during his final 20years as an Honorary Fellow. However, as a practising scientist, Doug remained enthusiastic about modernist philosophy and its domination of agricultural science.
Almost immediately after graduating, Doug was offered a short vacation studentship position in a CSIR laboratory in Victoria to study parasites of a new pest, the Oriental Fruit Moth. Soon afterwards, he was offered the position of Junior Research Officer in CSIR's Division of Economic Entomology, Canberra. He was assigned to the section dealing with the sheep blowfly, Lucilia cuprina, a cosmopolitan pest of vital importance to Australia's dominant sheep industry. Dr Ian Mackerras, the section's leader, told Doug 'to think about the blowfly problems and to study any that he felt challenging', an approach characteristic of the policy espoused by CSIR's far-sighted Chief Executive, Sir David Rivett. However, for a publicly-funded institution like CSIR, the emphasis was on finding solutions to economically important problems.
Doug started work in 1938 on physiological aspects of the sheep blowfly. He continued to do so, with interruptions during the Second World War, until the 1950s. He was awarded an MSc by the University of Sydney for a thesis based on this work. At the time it was conventional wisdom that insect physiology, which was then beginning to flourish, could provide the basis of new control measures. Later, physiology was to give way to ecology, then to insect biochemistry, and later again to molecular biology. But when V.B. Wigglesworth FRS (later Sir Vincent) was making great progress at Cambridge, physiology was seen to be the way ahead. Doug undertook early studies on blowfly behaviour, but soon became interested in insect digestion. He was interested in the conditions under which various poisons are absorbed by the gut or excreted. Although this work began on the premise that it should prove useful in the design of ingested insecticides ('stomach poisons' in the jargon of the time), it never did so. However, it did lead to fascinating discoveries of the role of the 'goblet cells' in the midgut and of 'longitudinal differentiation' in cell structure. Although these and other results were summarized in a well-researched review (41), few workers continued these lines of investigation. Insect physiology produced some notable successes in, for example, the study of insect hormones and the development of synthetic insecticides; but, as pointed out by Waterhouse and Norris (105), it did not live up to its early promise and Doug turned to examine other methods of fly control.
Whilst the work on blowfly control was Doug's primary objective, it was clearly important to learn more about the ecology of the species. Doug took a role in an extensive experiment (9) to determine the population density of the fly and its rate of spread in an area of about 50sq.miles (>15,000 ha.) of grazing country near Canberra. The experiment, using marked flies, gave valuable indications of the numbers of flies per unit area and of the flight range in a variety of weather conditions. It required a large number of helpers, one of whom was Dawn Calthorpe, later to become Doug's wife. Other ecological work involved studying the breeding behaviour of the fly, in an attempt to find new methods of reducing fly populations (10-13). New information was obtained on the use of repellents for the prevention of fly strike and in the development of dressings for fly-struck sheep (5). A detailed taxonomic study (with S.J. Paramonov) (21) demonstrated the differences, both morphological and behavioural, between Lucilia cuprina and L. sericata (the English Sheep Blowfly). This was all interrupted by the start of the war in 1939.
Soon after the outbreak of the Second World War, Doug was commissioned with the rank of Captain in the Army Medical Corps. He was located in Canberra (in the Officer Reserves), to be transferred to active service as required. This arrangement provided flexibility for his wartime research. Initially, this involved testing high-spreading oils for mosquito control, but soon evolved into the testing of sprays for control of mosquitoes responsible for malarial transmission. Since most of the world supply of pyrethrum came from Kenya, identifying new mosquito repellents became a high priority. Their testing involved exposing volunteers, Doug included, to large numbers of potential vectors in a screened room. Public awareness led to suggestions of possibly useful materials including the essential oils of Australian trees. Oil from Huon Pine proved to be an extremely efficient mosquito repellent, but about half the volunteers found it to be highly nauseating, negating its possible use. Another proposal came from a Sydney-based oil company for a product containing about 35per cent of either dimethyl phthalate (DMP) or of diethyl phthalate. The former proved to be most effective. In light of the fact that it was manufactured in Sydney, mainly as a plasticizer of the fabrics of aircraft wings, Doug immediately informed Captain Bob McCulloch of its value. He, in turn, advised Major Ian Mackerras, Doug's erstwhile boss in Canberra, but by then involved in malaria control. Mackerras soon arranged for DMP to be tested under field conditions in Papua New Guinea. Doug, with two junior colleagues, was despatched to Papua New Guinea to a village said to be one of the worst malarial places on earth. The DMP proved to be most effective. By 1943 the repellent was widely deployed in the Pacific where it became known as 'Mary' by the troops. Doug continued work on repellents until the end of the war.
At the end of the war Doug returned to research, initiating a sequence of papers on the physiology of digestion and excretion, first on the blowfly (6, 7, 12, 20, 24), and later on insects capable of digestion of keratin (26-28), and wax (44). The work on wool led to an understanding of the detoxifying mechanisms and later to a study of the peritrophic membrane (32, 33, 38). All these were based on well-designed and careful observations, assembled in the belief that they would contribute to a better understanding of the mode of action of insecticides. In 1953 this work was summarized in a multi-author textbook on insect physiology (34-37).
The blowfly research earned Waterhouse a DSc from the University of Sydney and election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and of the Royal Society of London.
Doug was a scientific leader of both genius and generosity. One of his lasting claims to fame is the way he made it possible for many other scientists to flourish. In a recent tribute, Dr Ren Wang from China, currently Deputy Director-General for Research in the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, stated 'Doug was my model scientist and his inspiration has given me so much guidance and courage in my career. His advice has helped so much to the development of biological control in China'. Many entomologists, at home and abroad, who had the good fortune to work with Doug have echoed those sentiments.
Some Eastern philosophers talk about three types of effective leader: the one who is feared, the one who is loved, and the greatest leader of all, whose followers say 'We did it all ourselves'. Doug had elements of all three in him – he was awesome to a few, loved by many, but his greatest attribute was his ability to provide the enabling environment for others. He had an uncanny capacity to recognize good ideas, whether his own or others, and obtain the resources, both people and funds, and leave them to it. In outlining below some of the key research programmes initiated during Doug's term as Assistant Chief under A.J. Nicholson and then as Chief, we are not demeaning the key contributions made by the relevant researchers. We simply acknowledge the facilitating and inspirational role played by Doug.
In 1953, Nicholson ('Nick' to all his staff) asked Doug to take on the role of Assistant Chief. Others had found this to be a difficult assignment, but Doug coped well with it. Initially, the added responsibility had little impact on his research output, but eventually he found that he could only undertake activities that could be put aside when pressing administrative tasks demanded his attention. Doug put this requirement and his training in chemistry into effect in the study of insect scents and the structure of the glands producing these materials (47, 54, 55, 65, 66, 68, 72, 75, 80).
Doug developed a strong research group in the basic disciplines of insect physiology, biochemistry and fine structure during the 1950s. The rationale centred on understanding the mode of action of chemical pesticides but ranged widely into fundamental studies in insect physiology and biochemistry. A notable achievement in the Division during this period was the successful culturing of insect tissues. This was entirely the work of Tom Grace. It took ten years of sometimes frustrating trials before an effective culture medium was developed and Doug supported Grace during those years. 'Grace's Medium' is still available commercially today, 35 years on, and the development represents an important tool for insect molecular biotechnology. With demands for useful outcomes within a three-year timeframe, such a development would be less likely to occur today.
When Nick retired, the CSIRO Executive, following a worldwide search, had no hesitation in appointing Doug as Chief in 1961. Nick had steadfastly maintained that he did not wish to increase the size of the Division, but that was not Doug's way. He could foresee many opportunities for working on new ways to control pest species.
By this stage Doug had begun to question the wisdom of depending solely on chemical pesticides. In 1964 he presented a seminal paper to the CSIRO Executive calling for recognition of a diversity of approaches to pest management – cultural, physical, host resistance, genetic control, behavioural control and biological control. He advocated an integration of these approaches into the practice of integrated pest management (IPM). The ambitious proposal ended with the following statement:
No-one should underestimate the threat posed by insects. They inhabited the earth 300million years or more before man and will probably inhabit it after the last vertebrate has perished. We do well to prepare for a prolonged contest.
Projects were suggested in a number of areas, such as biological control, chemical methods (lures, pheromones, anti-feedants, etc), physical methods, genetic methods (sterile males, chemosterilants), IPM, and modification of a pest's resource needs. It was an expensive programme. Doug planned it with characteristic thoroughness. He arranged for his programme to be the topic for the 1965 Annual General Meeting of the Australian Academy of Science. He published a report of that meeting in the Australian Journal of Science (61) and he wrote a supporting article in the magazine Rural Research. He also commissioned an eye-catching painting (Fig.1) by the well-known artist Robert Ingpen. The image boldly captures the imagination that went into the concept of the 'new perspectives'. Ingpen's illustration shows a background reminiscent of the 'Silent Spring' of Rachel Carson (1962), but emerging from this are examples of the ten projects proposed by Doug to support a three-fold increase in the size of the Division over the ensuing five years.
Doug addressed the 12th International Congress of Entomology in London on his plans and on the divisional achievements. Most importantly, he enlisted the full support of the CSIRO Executive. In particular, he gained the ear of Sir Otto Frankel, who was then the executive member responsible for the Division. The plan was approved by CSIRO. It set the Division on course to become internationally recognized as a major centre for entomological research. Doug negotiated not only for three new projects a year, but also for the facilities, including new field stations in Australia and overseas, to support the newly appointed staff. CSIRO's decision to back Doug was fully vindicated with the favourable findings of the 1978 Marsden Report – an external and independent economic analysis of some of the Division's research. The analysis demonstrated a return on investment that could truly be called outstanding.
We describe briefly some of the major programmes (and some of the actors) that were promoted by Doug during his term as Chief, along with some of his 'extracurricular' activities that relate to insect control.
One of the finest examples of Doug's broad strategic thinking is the establishment of the SGRL in 1969 after five years of deliberation with the Australian Wheat Board and the Federal Government. Australian grain was harvested at high summer temperatures and then marketed into the northern hemisphere summer. This pattern provided continuing ideal temperatures for rapid multiplication of grain pests. Australia and its principal traditional market, the UK, had come to accept the inevitability of 'weevilly' grain. However, new and emerging markets, in China, the USSR and the Middle East, were not prepared to accept insect-infested grain. At the same time, the USA introduced new bulk-storage technology (e.g. aeration) and posed a threat to Australia's position as a leading exporter. When malathion became available in the early 1960s, exported grain could be effectively protected and the threat was postponed. However, the risks of resistance (already emerging) and market concerns about residues meant that alternatives to grain protectants were urgently required. Discussions between the Australian Wheat Board, the Federal Government and CSIRO led to the establishment in 1970 of the SGRL with S.W. (Bill) Bailey as its first leader. Doug played a leading role in establishing the SGRL, its research programme and in selecting its staff. The Australian Wheat Board accepted, with some hesitation, Doug's suggestion that the SGRL's research staff be recruited from outside the field of stored product entomology in order to encourage highly innovative approaches.
Since its inception, the SGRL has been an outstanding success, and has devised a number of effective ways of marketing insect-free grain that has never been treated with insecticides. On several occasions its research (particularly that of Jim Des Marchelier) secured Australia's pre-eminence as a leading grain-exporting nation. Successful innovations from SGRL include: emergency bunker storage in good seasons; insect-free grain that has been fumigated without leaving residues (e.g. phosphine using the SIROFLO technology); inert dusts; sealed storage (to suffocate insects); storage under carbon dioxide (as a waste product from industry, e.g. aluminium smelting) and other inert gases; grain aeration (to lower temperature to a level at which insect reproduction ceases and then to a level at which development ceases); and fluidized bed heating (which can be used to provide rapid heat disinfestation of grain during loading on a ship). Outcomes of the research led to the extension of the useful life of many ageing and leaky bulk silos and positioned the industry for deregulation with the inevitable expansion of on-farm grain storage.
In the early 1960s, when environmental concerns arose about the widespread use of persistent pesticides (notably the chlorinated hydrocarbons), the issue of pesticide residues that might be present in foodstuffs was raised. Beef and lamb were of particular concern because chlorinated hydrocarbons were being used extensively to deal with insects and ticks attacking sheep and cattle in Australia. Doug's contacts overseas gave him early warning of a likely move by the USA to reject meat with residues above trace levels. A group in Australia (of which Roy Watts, New South Wales Director General of Agriculture, was a particularly influential member) worked to modify, progressively, recommendations for pesticide use. The Standing Committee on Agriculture then established the Coordinating Committee on Agricultural Chemicals. J.T. Snelson proved to be a very influential committee member, and Doug one of its central players. The committee met regularly over the next two decades while Doug was Chief and prevented the banning of meat and other export products by vigorous and far-sighted action.
In 1971 Doug was appointed Chairman of an Australian Academy of Science committee evaluating the dangers of DDT. Doug was sorely torn between the undisputed safety of DDT for humans and its detrimental effects on non-target organisms, especially birds. A minority report was submitted by Professor Charles Birch, who advocated total banning of DDT. Doug felt this was unnecessary and the committee concluded in its 1972 report that some uses of DDT should be phased out but other uses should be maintained where the advantages clearly outweighed the disadvantages. Public opinion, unnecessarily in Doug's view, hastened the complete phasing out of DDT in Australia.
An increase in acaricide resistance and chemical residues in meat called for new initiatives in tick control over pastoral regions of northern Australia. Paul Wilkinson was appointed in the late 1950s to lead a Townsville-based team to evaluate options that reduced dependency on acaricides. These approaches, supported strongly by Doug, included pasture spelling, strategic dipping and host resistance by crossing the susceptible European blood-lines with Asian breeds of cattle. Acaricide resistant strains of cattle tick were maintained and characterized by Bill Roulston and Jim Nolan. This gene bank proved of immense value to industry in its search for new and effective acaricides. This ecological approach to tick control significantly reduced dependency on acaricides.
Although not a taxonomist himself, Doug regarded taxonomy as basic to most entomological studies. Tillyard, the Division's founding Chief (1928-34), expected researchers to each have their own group of insects; and he produced the definitive taxonomic textbook on Australian and New Zealand insects. His successor, Nicholson (1934-61), an ecologist, restricted taxonomic activities to certain individuals. During much of Doug's tenure as Chief, taxonomic work expanded, but not three-fold like the rest of the Division. However, the collection had developed as an important national asset. To ensure that this resource was not dissipated 'at the whim of some future Chief', Doug successfully lobbied the Science Minister at the time, Sir John Gorton, to proclaim in the Commonwealth Gazette that 'the Australian National Insect Collection was of national importance and should be preserved by the Commonwealth into the future'. Even so, some members of the CSIRO Executive still felt that taxonomy was akin to 'stamp collecting' or 'hobbies pursued at the taxpayers' expense'. Doug countered effectively by noting that the revered field of astronomy was itself at that time largely 'astrotaxonomy'. Doug eventually secured funds to construct a purpose-built laboratory with two collection halls. This magnificent facility was formally opened in 1982, around Doug's retirement, and named 'The D.F. Waterhouse Laboratory of Insect Taxonomy'. A further collection hall and offices were added by Doug's successor as Chief, Max Whitten (1981-95). This was financed from the sale of a divisional asset at Warrawee in Sydney which Doug had secured in the 1960s for studies on the Queensland fruit fly and biocontrol of other orchard pests. Insect taxonomy finally emerged as a mature discipline. Excellent facilities and a diverse, unique and scientifically-interesting insect fauna allowed the Division to recruit a fine team of taxonomists. Doug's foresight had positioned the Division and the nation to play a leading role in conservation biology and the understanding of biodiversity.
By the 1960s, Tillyard's textbook on insect taxonomy was decidedly out of date. Doug persuaded Ian Mackerras, who had left the Division shortly after the Second World War to lead the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, to return as a Research Fellow and edit a major new text, Insects of Australia. The task, involving 29 authors, mainly from the Division, was published by Melbourne University Press and sold over 20,000 copies. A completely revised second edition, in two volumes, edited by Ian Naumann, was published by Melbourne University Press in 1991 with similar success. Doug contributed a new chapter, 'Insects and Humans' (128).
Questions relating to the location of holotypes of Australian insects had arisen over many years. Ever since European settlement, collections of biological specimens were deposited with overseas institutions or in private collections outside Australia. Consequently, holotypes were mainly located offshore. This pattern of deposition was still occurring as late as the middle of the twentieth century. Opinions were not divided on the undesirability of this situation, but they certainly were divided on what to do about it. Many entomologists, including a majority within the Division itself, favoured 'gentleman's agreements' to encourage deposition back into Australian institutions of types described from exported collections.
Doug initially favoured a cooperative approach over legislative action. A controversy without precedent in Australia's entomological community raged throughout the 1960s on how best to remedy the problem. Doug's colleague, Ken Key, was the principal advocate of legislative action to ensure return of types described from any future material exported from the country. Regulation 13A to the Act Controlling Exports was gazetted and became law in July 1973, somewhat to the surprise and chagrin of many entomologists. The lack of suitable guidelines for implementation exacerbated a tense situation. The resultant confusion reflected poorly on Doug and the Division. Eventually, suitable guidelines were put in place and the regulation amended to make it more workable. The formal opening of the D.F. Waterhouse Laboratory, in conjunction with the 1982 Annual General Meeting of the Entomological Society of Australia in Canberra, buried the hatchet of division within the entomological community. With the Wildlife Protection Act of April 1984, Regulation 13A was rescinded, but its principal elements were fully preserved through the new legislation and the CITES treaty. Upton's 1997 history of the Australian National Insect Collection devoted a full chapter to the Regulation 13A controversy.
George Bornemissza, a Hungarian emigré, suggested in the early 1960s that Australia would benefit from the enrichment of the local dung-dispersing insect fauna with the introduction of dung beetle species from Africa and Europe. Bornemissza based his innovative proposal on his post-graduate studies of the rich dung beetle fauna of his native country and on his field observations of this continent's impoverished dung fauna immediately following his arrival in Australia in 1951. Doug recognized the value of this proposal and gave George financial and logistical support to make it happen. Doug accepted the considerable risk that might flow from accidental introduction of animal diseases or any untoward environmental eventualities. During the 1970s and until the mid-80s, some 50 species were introduced, mainly from southern Africa although a few came from Europe. At least 30 species have been established, and the beneficial impact can be witnessed in virtually all rural areas of the mainland and Tasmania where cattle are present. However, it is only since 2000 that, with support from the National Heritage Trust, the actual distribution and impact of the introductions have been evaluated systematically. All indications suggest that this has been one of the most valuable and cost-effective programmes ever conducted in Australian agriculture. The project had its critics along the way, both within and outside CSIRO, but Bornemissza's original and inspired recommendation has proven beneficial, thus vindicating Doug's support.
Another innovative programme initiated by Doug was the development of genetic means of controlling the Australian Sheep Blowfly. Doug had already anticipated this possibility in his 'new perspectives' article, but he recognized that the 'all or nothing' sterile male approach, so successful for the screw-worm fly in the USA, was unlikely to be practical in Australia. He accepted the advice of fellow Chief, Jim Rendel, and Jim Peacock (later Chief of Plant Industry (1978-) that other genetic means should be considered. Max Whitten was appointed as the first geneticist to the Division, in 1996, to explore genetic options. With Geoff Foster, he developed and evaluated a range of genetically-modified strains which had potential for suppressing natural populations of blowfly. The declining value of the wool clip and continued effectiveness of chemical pesticides were two factors that ultimately prevented practical implementation of this approach to blowfly control. The project was another example of the risk that Doug was prepared to take to explore all options to reduce dependency and use of chemical pesticides. Ultimately, the notion of pesticide resistance management for key pests like the army-worm, Helicoverpa armigera, was one of the benefits emerging from this research.
A prominent element of Doug's 'new perspectives' was classical biological control. To implement his strategy he established laboratories in France, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, and the UK. Although it was expensive and without precedent in CSIRO, Doug argued that it would enable the Division's staff to identify and introduce biocontrol agents against arthropod pests and weeds that had originated in Europe, Africa or the Americas. Offshore facilities were complemented with field laboratories in each State so that staff could gain first-hand knowledge of the target pests and be well-positioned to introduce the imported agents. Many major successes emerged from this strategy. Two early appointments were Ken Harley and Tony Wapshere. Tony headed the Montpellier laboratory for 19 years and championed many successful introductions, including the first use of a fungal pathogen for weed control (skeleton weed). Ken Harley oversaw successful programmes like control of the water-weeds Salvinia molesta and water hyacinth. A task of the UK group at Silwood Park, under Frank Wilson, was control of Sirex, the Pinus radiata wood wasp. Initially the group concentrated on arthropod natural enemies, but eventually Robin Bedding demonstrated that the nematode, Deladenus, would be effective against Sirex. Not only did this prove spectacularly successful, but Bedding went on to demonstrate the potential of a whole group of insect-killing nematodes for insect pest management. Australia had become a leader in the theory and practice of biocontrol under Doug's leadership. Doug initiated two especially innovative programmes for orchard pests. The first, under Les Readshaw, was the introduction of acaricide-resistant predatory mites from the USA for controlling spider mites in pome orchards. The second was the development, by George Rothschild, of the first commercially-viable sex-disrupting pheromone for suppressing populations of the peach borer – the insect that Doug first worked on after joining the Division. There was also considerable success in the biological control of aphids involving a large group of researchers.
Doug fully recognized that results from biological projects do not come quickly, but he had complete faith that any additional funding would be fully justified. He was so certain of the economic benefits that in 1980 he encouraged a study by the Industries Assistance Commission to undertake the first detailed cost-benefit analysis of any CSIRO Division. The initiative was vigorously opposed by some fellow Chiefs who regarded it as an unnecessary, even dangerous, precedent. The results, published by J.S. Marsden et al. in a 107-page report in 1980, demonstrated an overall annual internal rate of return (IRR) of 19per cent. The report was a landmark in the appraisal of government-funded research. Of course, not all divisional projects were subjected to close scrutiny, and there was great variation between the cost effectiveness of different projects. Many of the most effective divisional projects, like the dung beetle programme and the aquatic weeds programmes, had not, by then, yielded any positive benefits.
Many years later an ACIAR-funded programme on the control of the banana skipper (butterfly), initiated by Doug and Don Sands, was the subject of another cost-benefit analysis. Doug was dissatisfied with the result, claiming that many essential features had been omitted from the analysis. He argued for a revised analysis that showed benefits far in excess of those calculated previously, and indeed that the benefits for this programme alone outweighed the costs of all ACIAR cropping projects (150).
One could well argue that Doug's greatest achievements came during his retirement. During his period as Chief he could see the value of taking a broader approach to insect pest management than one simply relying on chemical control. Successful outcomes of many programmes, based on an integration of diverse approaches, strengthened this shifting viewpoint. Thus, by 1980, Doug was quite disillusioned with modernist thinking. For example, he suspected that the emergence of new pests in tropical rice paddies – a cropping system that is synonymous with food security – was caused by the inappropriate use of chemical pesticides, often promoted by unscrupulous pesticide companies. Green Revolution farmers had lost the capacity to manage their own crops as they had done for thousands of years. They had been reduced to mere 'inputs' in the minds of governments and industry, just like the chemicals. Doug became determined to promote ways of working 'with' nature, rather than aiming to 'control' nature. However, he never lost sight of the need for practical, cost-effective and lasting remedies to pest, disease and weed problems.
We deal with this aspect of Doug's work, largely pursued in retirement, under three headings:
Doug persuaded the FAO Conference, at its 12th Session in 1963, to convene a Symposium on Integrated Pest Control. It was held in Rome in 1965 and was the first such international symposium. A key outcome was the establishment of Expert Panels on IPM and Pesticide Resistance. Doug was Chairman of the latter Panel, and also became a very active member of the former, which was chaired by the American entomologist Ray Smith. According to Perry Adkisson, a doyenne of American entomology, Doug and Ray became the best-known and most influential leaders in implementing IPM on a global basis. The FAO IPM Panel was also regarded widely as the single most important instrument in promoting IPM globally. Doug used the Pesticide Resistance Panel to engage Bruce Champ to conduct a global survey of pesticide resistance in stored grain pests. The outcome of this survey was helpful in developing later research programmes for the Division's SGRL. In its early years the FAO IPM Panel was focused on cotton IPM. However, Doug was more concerned about pest outbreaks in paddy rice fields in Asia. He realized that new pests, like the brown plant hopper, were pesticide-induced. Thus food security across much of Asia was being jeopardized by pesticide misuse, and the Green Revolution in the world's major food bowl was placed in jeopardy.
Doug secured funds from AusAID while the Dutch entomologist Lucas Brader tapped the Dutch Government to enable the FAO to develop a programme targeting some 200million rice farmers in Asia. The resulting programmes have done much to reverse the serious social and environmental downside of the Green Revolution. The group of FAO IPM Programs that eventuated from Doug's initiative deployed non-formal education tools to help small-scale farmers become experts at growing their own crops again. The training in 'Farmers Field Schools' hinges on farmers understanding the rich biodiversity of the tropical rice paddy and how to use it to grow a crop sustainably and profitably. Once empowered, farmers look beyond plant protection and begin to make informed decisions about all aspects of growing a healthy crop, whether it be rice, vegetables or cotton, profitably and sustainably. These are the intercountry empowerment programmes that Doug created -millions of small-scale farmers can now rightly claim 'We did it all ourselves'.
Peter Kenmore, the leader of FAO's farmer empowerment programmes in Asia and Africa, said: 'One of Doug's smaller accomplishments was to create the FAO Intercountry IPM for Asia. He loved Asia very much, and did more than anyone in the world to connect, support, and push entomology, biocontrol and IPM in Asia into productive, heuristic contact with the rest of the world'.
In the early 60s, the four-yearly International Congresses of Entomology were 'managed' by a self-appointed committee. Doug found this to be an unsatisfactory and unprofessional arrangement for such an important instrument of global entomology. Doug drew up a constitution and revamped the committee into a council which has staged highly successful congresses every four years since Doug's timely intervention. Doug was President for the XIVth Congress in Canberra in 1972 – the first in the southern hemisphere. He attended all Congresses since 1960 and played an active role as a participant as well as in Council affairs. In recognition of his leadership role on Council over so many years, the XXIst Congress at Iguassu Falls, Brazil, in August 2000, bestowed on Doug the unique honour of 'Honorary Chairman of Council'. Regrettably his doctors would not permit Doug to travel to the Congress in Brazil, but news of the honour brought him much happiness.
Soon after Doug's retirement, his life-long commitment to the biological control of pests and weeds was stimulated by the many Pacific people he met in October 1982 in Tonga, while attending a training workshop. Sponsored by several agencies, this workshop was the first of two in Tonga that had a major impact on biological control of pests and weeds in the region. Doug presented two papers at this workshop, one on the need to increase awareness of biological control in the Pacific as a preferred alternative to chemical control, and a second paper on the use of pheromones, hormones and genetic methods for controlling insect pests. He referred to the costs and benefits of these methods, and how they might be applied in the Pacific. In Tonga, Doug gained a considerable appreciation of the significance of entomological problems in the region and the need to prioritize future research.
Doug's association with ACIAR began in 1983, soon after its establishment in 1982. Jim McWilliam, ACIAR's Director, invited Doug to become a Senior Research Fellow with ACIAR. Doug visited China in 1984, and several major initiatives developed with CSIRO Entomology soon after this visit, including projects on the biological control of stem borers in street trees and Carposina moth in apples using nematodes. Increased interest in biological control developed throughout the Pacific after the training workshop in Tonga, and the participants recognized the need for another workshop specifically on biological control. Doug began reviewing previous biological control projects in the western Pacific and examining their relative rates of success, helped by colleagues and others that he contacted through the South Pacific Commission. He circulated drafts of his pest and weed evaluation reports, each headed by the scientific and common names, and ranked on a scale of increasing importance for each country.
At ACIAR, Doug started developing concepts for projects based on collaboration between Australian scientists interested in biological control and those in developing countries of the Pacific and south-east Asia. Encouraged by McWilliam, he began preparing dossiers on potential targets, to identify biological control projects that were most likely to be effective in the Pacific and help facilitate projects with expertise from Australian agencies.
After the workshop in Tonga, another aimed specifically towards biological control was proposed. Following a recommendation from Doug, ACIAR adopted a proposal that it should take the lead and, in collaboration with relevant agencies, planned a workshop on biological control of arthropod and weed pests to be held in the south-west Pacific. In 1983, Doug, N. vonKeyserlingk and Dirk Stechmann from the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), developed the agenda. With support from the government of Tonga, ACIAR and GTZ (through its Tongan-German Plant Protection Project), the 'Workshop on Biological Control in the South Pacific' was subsequently held at Tongatapu in October 1985.
Doug presented dossiers on pests and weeds at the workshop and, after circulation to colleagues, compiled them for the first book in the series 'Biological Control: Pacific Prospects', published in 1987. This was followed by Supplement1 in 1989 and Supplement2 in 1993, both of them written with CSIRO colleague Dick Norris. These books dealt with 38 arthropod pests or groups of pests, giant African snails and 20 weeds, and each reviewed all that was required for new biological control initiatives. The books were distributed by ACIAR to the relevant agricultural and forestry agencies and libraries in all countries of the Pacific. As well as documenting all relevant information, Doug's dossiers were intended to provide a basis for collaborative projects between Australian agencies and Pacific countries. The major objectives of these projects were to introduce natural enemies (after carrying out any necessary host-specificity testing), provide for monitoring target populations, facilitate visits to Australia and overseas by collaborators, and sometimes provide training for personnel based overseas. Apart from successful control of pests and weeds, several of the overseas participants continued their entomological training by enrolling in universities and institutions.
The first project he compiled for a dossier, biological control of passion fruit scale (Pseudaulecaspis pentagona) in Samoa (then Western Samoa), was seen by Doug to be relatively straight-forward. The scale insect had attracted considerable research effort by GTZ entomologists in Samoa since 1984. Subsequently, in 1987, ACIAR supported a collaborative project between Samoa and CSIRO Entomology, and thus began a series of successful biological control projects involving collaboration between Pacific countries and Australian scientists.
In 1988, Doug proposed a major project, 'Biological Control in the Pacific', with subprojects on several pests: fruit piercing moths, mimosa, leucaena psyllid, banana aphid, banana weevil, banana skipper, and the weed lantana. This involved scientists from CSIRO Entomology, Queensland Department of Lands (now Department of Natural Resources), and New South Wales Department of Agriculture. The countries initially involved were Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Niue, Cook Islands and Kiribati. The largest and most complex dossier Doug prepared was on fruit flies of the Oceanic Pacific. Natural enemies that had been used against fruit flies, especially in Hawaii, were well documented, but Doug emphasized how difficult it was to select an appropriate parasitoid for introduction against a particular fruit fly species, and to achieve satisfactory levels of control. Doug pointed out that for export produce, 'complete freedom from living fruit fly stages is demanded', and stated that acceptable levels of control of fruit flies may never be reliably achieved with natural enemies.
In 1991 Doug published an important handbook, Guidelines for Biological Control Projects in the Pacific (127). It provided short, simple and straight-forward summaries on selecting projects, importing agents, quarantine procedures, designing facilities, assessing an agent's safety, host-specificity testing and handling conflicts of interest. The book was reprinted in 1998 (145) and has continued to be useful to biological control practitioners.
Doug frequently participated at conferences in the South Pacific, and attended several workshops, including one, 'Exotic Pests in the Pacific – Problems and Solutions', held in Guam in 1990, sponsored by the Pacific Science Association and University of Guam. At this workshop he proposed renewed attempts to control breadfruit fluted scale, Icerya aegyptiaca, a problem on central Pacific atolls. A project for control of the scale was proposed by Doug to involve CSIRO, Kiribati and Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) where the pest had persisted since its introduction during the Second World War. The scale was eventually controlled by an Australian predatory ladybird, Rodolia limbata, from Darwin, when introduced into the FSM in 1994 and Kiribati in 1995. The predator was also introduced into the Marshall Islands and Palau.
Doug encouraged publication of the biological control work carried out in the Pacific, and he and Agnes Vargo from American Samoa were editors for the publication of proceedings of a plenary session in Beijing in 1992 for Supplement (4) of Micronesica in 1993. Titled Biological Control of Exotic Pests in the Pacific (134), this edition included biological control presentations from the north-west Pacific as well as the south-west islands.
Doug was always interested in the local cultures of the Pacific people and he took every opportunity to admire their crafts, traditional houses and sample their food, and he would overcome their shyness with his exceptional charm. Wherever he went with tubes in collecting bags, he was always followed by the villagers and their children, wanting to peer through his hand lens to see the pests and to have Doug explain the damage these microscopic creatures were doing (Fig. 2).
Doug was instrumental in initiating a project on the Asian banana skipper (Erionota thrax) in Papua New Guinea, and he prepared a dossier on the pest that was published in 1989 (Supplement1). Doug considered this would be one of several 'fast-track' sub-projects and his prediction for this pest proved to be accurate. The project, by CSIRO and ACIAR, began in 1988 and an exotic larval parasitoid (Cotesia erionotae), originally from Thailand, was first released in 1990 in Port Moresby. Following establishment of the parasitoid, the pest greatly declined in abundance and, since 1992, damage to bananas has no longer been of major importance. It undoubtedly reduced the chances of the pest reaching Australia. In 1997, Doug published an important work on the invertebrate pests and weeds of agriculture and forestry in the south-west Pacific (141). This book, consisting mainly of tables, listed all known Pacific pests, their common names and principal crops attacked, the countries of occurrence and their importance. He similarly listed weeds, their distribution and importance, and the distribution and importance of plantation trees and their pests.
In recognizing the need to update biological control in Australia, Doug and Don Sands decided to prepare a book on the classical biological control of arthropods. A previous exercise by Frank Wilson in 1960 had covered pests and weeds of Australia and Papua New Guinea, but many projects had been carried out since in Australia and summaries could not be obtained without extensive literature searches. The authors found that 98 pest species or groups of pests had been targeted for biological control. Despite his progressing illness, Doug worked with his usual zeal and energy until the text reached its final stage in November 2000, when ACIAR began editing. Sadly Doug did not see the book published, but he was very pleased with the final text. Classical Biological Control of Arthropods in Australia, published by ACIAR, was launched on 26 April 2001 at a special commemorative event held at the Australian Academy of Science in Doug's honour.
Doug, by his actions within FAO and though ACIAR, took up Stephen Toulmin's challenge to 're-appropriate the wisdom of the 16th Century humanists; and develop a new point of view that combines the abstract rigour and exactitude of the 17th Century "new philosophy" with a practical concern for human life in its concrete detail'. Thus he strived to 'counter the current widespread disillusion with the agenda of modernity, and salvage what is still humanly important in its projects'.
The Australian Academy of Science was established in 1954, and Doug was immediately elected a Fellow. In 1960 he was elected to be a member of Council and the following year to the role of SecretaryB (Biological Sciences), a post he held until 1966. He was an early member of the Science and Industry Forum.
In 1965 he organized the AGM Symposium on 'New Perspectives in the Control of Insects' and he was very active in programmes to support the study of Australian biota, including the first Interim Council of the Australian Biological Resources Study (see below).
Doug also took an active role in the development of Australia's contribution to the International Biological Programme. He contributed to several reports (e.g. on the crown-of-thorns starfish) and he was chair of a committee responsible for a report on the use of DDT in Australia (83).
A proposal to establish a Biological Study of Australia received the support of both major political parties in the 1972 election, and in August 1973 Doug was appointed Chairman of an Interim Council. The function of the council was essentially to report on the provision of grants for the collection and description of species of Australian plants and animals, for the study of their ecology, and for the proper maintenance of collections. The Pigott Committee on Museums and National Collections was one of the important lines of enquiry established by this council. Its report was published in 1975 (94), but by this time the government had changed and the new minister showed no interest in the matter. Doug refused to give up, seeing the matter finally resolved with the establishment of the Australian Biological Resources Study in August 1978.
Because the Interim Council had not been given direct responsibility for making recommendations for the improvement of the position of State institutions, there was considerable apprehension that the funds would be allocated only to federal agencies. Doug recognized that, to ensure the support of the States, it would be essential to provide them with additional resources. Most of the initial three years funding was needed to examine conditions in existing institutions around the country, and then to call for and consider applications for grants. A report to the Federal Government was prepared and submitted less than two years after the first meeting of the council, by which time the support of the State institutions was assured. When the Interim Council was replaced, in 1978, by the ABRS Advisory Committee, Doug was the only member retained; he continued his association with the programme until his retirement.
ABRS has continued to be effective and productive, and there has been substantial progress to show for the Government's comparatively modest investment. Publications include numerous volumes of Flora of Australia and of Zoological Catalogue of Australian Species. Much of the early success of the venture was due to Doug's talent for turning a good idea into a feasible and lasting programme, and in his gift for communicating its benefits in public and political contexts. Certainly the climate of opinion changed, but Doug succeeded when previous efforts had failed.
Doug played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Canberra College of Advanced Education (CCAE), now the University of Canberra. The concept of the CAE system originated with a report in 1964. This recognized the need for a range of vocational and professional courses that were equal but different to those offered by the universities. In 1965 a further report, to which Doug contributed significantly, established the need for a CAE in Canberra, and in December 1966 an Interim Council, with Doug as a member, was appointed to design a completely new style of higher education. Doug was convinced that the CAE should produce graduates who would be immediately useful in their profession and that interdisciplinary studies were a critical element of such education. It was to focus on the professions, catering for both full-time and part-time students. He emphasized the necessity for quality teaching.
The permanent Council of the new CCAE was established in November 1968 and Doug was unanimously elected as its first Chair, a position he held for the next 16years, thus providing a continuing vision for the direction of CCAE.
Doug took a very active part in many of the activities of CCAE. He chaired the Finance Committee and the Buildings and Site Committee, deciding that the grounds should be planted exclusively with Australian flora.
Doug's leadership at CCAE was celebrated by Sam Richardson, inaugural Principal of the CCAE, in his 1979 book Parity of Esteem:
Doug's positive leadership and wise counsel has inspired us all throughout the decade As a leader, he was quietly modest and consciously strove for consensus. His good humour and evident enjoyment of life were infectious. His judgementswere invariably well considered, fair and positively friendly, He welded staff and students together as a team dedicated to success, despite the many disappointments and setbacks of the first two decades. He was, without question, the most influential and steadfast of the founders of the University of Canberra.
In 1975 Doug was made the first Honorary Fellow of CCAE, and in 1985 the School of Applied Science building was named in his honour.
One of Doug's passionate commitments was to the National Trust of Australia (ACT). He was Member of its Council from 1980 to 1996 and its President from 1985 to 1988. With characteristic foresight, he anticipated the increase in community interest in Australian history and saw the need for involving a broad range of professionals in Trust activities. He created links with government agencies, notably the National Capital Development Commission and the Australian Capital Territory Administration. He was fasciated with all aspects of natural and cultural heritage, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. He provided leadership and vision and, at the same time, ensured that all with whom he worked received credit for their contributions.
His dedication to the Trust was matched by his love of Canberra, and his infectious enthusiasm deepened the feelings of many people for the place he knew as home. He and Dawn were appointed the first Life Members of the Canberra Museum and Gallery. Doug was a member of Rotary and served for many years on the board of the school attended by his three sons.
Doug had come from a religious background, with Presbyterian grandparents and a Methodist father and grandfather, but like many biologists who found it difficult to accept both evolution and the scriptures, he was agnostic. He was, however, very tolerant of the beliefs of others. He was unusual in being quite certain of his vocation from a very early age, and coming from parents who were active in fostering the activities of their sons, he was able to pursue his entomological activities with enlightened encouragement.
He was intelligent, hard-working and enthusiastic. He had a remarkable memory, and showed perseverance and tenacity to an extraordinary degree. He was not physically robust, but was capable of arduous work in the field. Later in life he became adept at handling politicians, all of whom held him in great respect. He interacted equally well with all members of his staff, and particularly with entomologists in developing countries.
Doug had an unusually large number of acquaintances amongst entomologists around the world, and he described himself, not without reason, as a 'benevolent autocrat'. He greatly appreciated international recognition, especially his election to prestigious academies and institutions. His colleagues described him as having outstanding administrative ability and foresight, together with inexhaustible energy, courage, and loyalty to his staff. He had an unusual ability to select teams of young scientific staff in all disciplines needed to make the Division of Entomology, in the words of George Rothschild, 'an extraordinarily exciting place to be in'.
Doug wrote fluently, always by long-hand, never using either a typewriter or a word processor. He was an eloquent advocate, sometimes loquacious (to the annoyance of some of those with whom he was debating), but he rarely lost a debate on matters that he held dear.
His holiday home at the South Coast was a focus for family activities and a place where he enjoyed entertaining guests, especially those from overseas. Doug was a keen sea fisherman. According to Ian, his brother, 'it was almost as if he had a special line' to his catch. He used some of his fish to perfect his skills in making fishprints, the ancient Japanese art of Gyotaku (85, 93).
Doug loved life. He had many firm and lasting friends, especially within the entomological community in Australia and overseas. He was hard-working, jovial and enthusiastic about all he did. He was a devoted family man who gave much credit to his wife, Dawn, for his many accomplishments. In 1994 he was diagnosed with cancer. In the following years, Doug exhibited extraordinary courage and determination to overcome it for a further six years. Despite his illness, he continued to publish extensively. He finally laid down his pen, with much reluctance, just two days before his death. Doug is survived by Dawn, one daughter, three sons, and their families.
During his illustrious career Doug received many distinctions and awards. His appointments and awards included:
Doug was member of numerous national and international committees, and served on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals.
This memoir was originally published in Historical Records of Australian Science, vol.13, no.4, 2001. It was written by:
Doug left a 32-page document entitled Chronicle, which provided a good deal of information about his early life. He also left a video made by Dr Max Blythe (Oxford Brookes University) and this provided details of his work during the Second World War.
We are grateful for the help of many people the preparation of this memoir, especially members of the Waterhouse family, and others too numerous to detail. Special thanks go to Paul Ferrar, Dick Norris, Murray Upton, John Rayner, Ken Taylor, Rosanne Walker, John Mulvaney and Perry Adkisson.
ACIAR, CSIRO and the Australian Academy of Science supported the reproduction here of Fig.1.
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