Dr Neil William Heather

In 1962 Dr. Heather began research with Queensland Forest Service developing an eradication strategy for the exotic West Indian Drywood Termite. In 1971 he joined the Department of Primary Industries to study insecticide resistance in stored grain pests.

Dr. Heather's most recent work has been on fruit fly disinfestation strategies to overcome trade barriers. He developed treatments that have opened the Japanese and other markets to Australian mangoes and he has also worked on postharvest treatments which have increased export opportunities for Queensland winter-grown tomatoes interstate, to New Zealand, and to South-East Asian countries.

Dr. Heather's research into fruit fly quarantine treatments has been supported by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the Horticultural Research and Development Corporation, and the Queensland Government.

Dr. Heather has been involved in 23 overseas assignments in countries such as the USA, China, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Chile, New Zealand, and the former Soviet Union. He has produced more than 70 scientific publications and his research programs attracted more than one million dollars in funding in the decade before his retirement. The quarantine security disinfestations measures put in place following the discovery of the then-named exotic Papaya Fruit Fly in north Queensland last year were based on Dr. Heather's research.

Dr. Heather is a member of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and a foundation member of the Australian Entomological Society. He was Chief Editor of the Journal of the Australian Entomological Society for eight years and has been a part-time lecturer and examiner ofT AFE courses since 1971. He is a past secretary of the board of the Multiple Handicapped Association of Queensland and immediate past president of the Queensland University Regiment Association - the result of thirteen years of service in the Citizen Military Forces commencing at Gatton College. He is also an active golfer and boating enthusiast.

After a distinguished career spanning 44 years, Dr. Heather retired from the DPI in 1995 with the classification of Senior Principal Scientist. The University of Queensland Gatton College subsequently granted him Honorary Research Consultant and Honorary Associate Professor status which allows for ongoing research and student involvement.


Gatton Gold Medal


Bachelor of Science
Master of Science
Doctor of Philosophy