Professor Michael Bull

It is with great regret that I have to inform you of the passing of Professor Mike Bull.

Mike Bull has left an enduring legacy for Ecology worldwide. The Ecological Society of Australia will be making a condolence book available  at ESA16 in Fremantle for all attendees to celebrate Mike’s life. For those of you who are unable to attend the conference, we have also opened a condolence blog for you to add your memories, thoughts and celebrations of his life. 

Nigel Andrew
President, Ecological Society of Australia

[Submissions are now closed. Thanks to all who offered condolences, memories and thoughts.]

Murray Littlejohn

Our PhD theses (mine: 1958, Mike’s 1973) both dealt with the zonal interaction between two parapatric anuran species in south-western WA. We also shared the same supervisor – Bert Main. Thus our interests converged at this early stage of Mike’s research career. I am not sure when I first met Mike, but it was probably during the early 1970s when I was visiting UWA Zoology. Since then I have followed his research with considerable interest, not only during the amphibian phase but also the work on ticks and lizards. Throughout, his investigations were pursued with great enthusiasm and originality. Mike’s studies provide fine examples of the value of a tightly focussed and sustained approach in which a deep understanding of one’s biological subject is developed through intensive field studies. The results, reinforced by his enthusiasm and bright personality, were reflected in his presentations at scientific meetings.

So it is with sadness that I offer my sincere condolences to Mike’s family.

Claire Treilibs

Mike was the epitome of a ‘good PhD supervisor’: generous, patient, enthusiastic and encouraging, with a remarkably rapid response rate to requests for help. As a remote-based student in central Australia, I felt included and part of the Adelaide lab group. A highlight was his (and June’s) annual visit to Alice Springs for a project review. On the last night of each trip, it became tradition to dine at the local Italian restaurant so we could sample the house specialty sweet, vanilla slice. Over the years, the dessert featured increasingly prominently on the schedule, almost more important than the project meetings. My suspicions were confirmed when Mike suggested – tongue-in-cheek of course – that I could extend my PhD project by another year so he could fit in one more trip for vanilla slice. He will be greatly missed. Thanks for everything Mike.

Shona Myers

I am sad to hear about Michael. He was such a wonderful man and ecologist who always offered his wise, friendly and warm help and advice. He was very supportive of INTECOL and international ecological networks. He participated in many Congresses, as well as joint Australia New Zealand ecological conferences. He was a wonderful ambassador and collaborative ecologist. He led the scientific programme for INTECOL 2009 in Brisbane and was recently a member of the Scientific Committee for the 2017 INTECOL Congress in Beijing, providing us again with his usual helpful and supportive advice. The world has lost a good man and ecologist.
Arohanui, much love to his family

Craig James

I had the delight of working with Mike over a decade or more through the Council of ESA. We worked closely on renewing the publishing agreement for Austral Ecology and EMR, and the Program for INTECOL. Mike was a constant source of wise advice for the Society when major decsions were being considered. His legacy for ESA and science in Australia is enormous. He always managed to make a talk about ticks on sleepy lizards funny - Mike's scientific presentations were often the highlight of a conference session if not the highlight of the whole conference. I count myself lucky to have experienced his influence and had his counsel. I mourn his departure.

Charles Morris

I had the privlige of working with Mike on the ESA Council, on the Editorial Board of Austral Ecology, and as a submitting author to the Journal.  He was unfailingly courteous and  generous on all occasions.  His death is a great loss to us all.  

Gary Luck

I have known Mike for nearly 20 years. He was always generous with his time and wisdom and acted as a mentor to me on numerous occasions including providing comments on grant applications and most recently in assisting me in my role as Chair of the Editorial Board of EMR. He was synonymous with Austral Ecology and ESA conferences. It was always a pleasure to catch up with him at conferences. Mike was a brilliant and highly distinguished ecologist, but maybe more importantly, he was a wonderful and humble person. Australian ecology is much poorer for his passing.

Sam Lake

Please accept my condolences for the loss of Mike. He was a wise and exceptional ecologist, a dedicated and helpful editor and a great supporter of ESA.

Saul Cunningham

I never had the opportunity to work closely with Mike. Instead I interacted with him as a professional colleague occasionally over more than two decades. But every time I did exchange words or ideas with Mike it was a pleasure. He was a kind and generous man who did incredible service in support of the community of Australian ecologists.

Charles Morris

I had the privlige of working with Mike as an Associate Editor for Austral Ecology, and from time spent on the ESA Council.  Mike was unfailingly courteous and generous, and was always a pleasure to deal with.  When I submitted papers to Austral Ecology for publication, these same qualities were evident in correspondence with him.  His death is a great loss to us all.    

Sam Lake

Please accept my condolences for the sad passing of Mike. He was a wise and exceptional ecologist, a dedicated and generous editor and a great supporter of ESA.

Leon Barmuta

I will miss Mike's urbane generosity.

The stories he told of the unsolved mysteries of the mites on his lizards were valuable lessons about how ecology can be cussedly contrary and resistant to easy simplification. He taught that we still learn important things from 'non significant' results.

I will miss him greatly.

My condolences to Mike's family and friends.

Kate Buchanan

I am a relatively recent newcomer to this large continent of strange beasts. Mike never treated me as an outsider - far from it, he was always so encouraging of researchers to come and taste the variety of Australian natural history, in all its amazing guises. Before arrival, at conferences and since moving to Australia Mike expressed his support and enthusiasm for research in behaviour and ecology in a range of ways. He was always enthusiastic, incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging. With his considerable experience in publishing he was well placed to provide recent guidance and valuable insights into judging publishing tenders when managing a switch of publisher for an Australian journal. I will greatly miss his wisdom, experience and insight. But I will miss his enthusiasm even more.

Bianca Dunker

My warmest condolences to all the people who were close to Mike. It hard to lose someone without warning and the chance of properly saying goodbye.

Mike was my main supervisor during my PhD which was a bit awkward as my PhD was focused around plants. Thus, he used to introduce me as his student who was working on lizard food. Even though I wasn’t working on something that was too much of an interest of Mikes he still managed to be a good supervisor. He showed lots of patience, gave good advice and most impressive he was always quick to respond and making time to meet with me when needed, besides all his other commitments.
Thank you Mike!!!

Ben Moore

I was shocked and saddened by the news last week that Mike had died suddenly. I first encountered Mike when I was a student attendee at ESA meetings, where I was struck by his generosity and support for students - this was a real confidence booster in my case. Mike subsequently invited me to join the editorial board of Austral Ecology and since then I've been in constant admiration of Mike's dedication, discipline and fairness in his role as editor. Needless to say, Mike's science has also inspired many and his collaborative approach to his research is a shining example to us all. On a personal note, I'll always have fond memories of my interactions with Mike at conferences and ESA council meetings, where his warmth and wit could always be relied upon.

Sue McIntyre

So sad to have Mike leave us.  He has been a constant over my entire career, and such a supportive and positive part of our ecological community.  Mike's work for the Journal has been amazing, and he introduced me to the world of journal editing in the most helpful way. Many thanks Mike.

Anna Richards

I knew Mike through my role as associate editor for Austral Ecology. In all my interactions with Mike he was always incredibly insightful and considerate. He was especially supportive to me as a young/mid-career scientist, juggling part-time work and children. Mike was an exceptional ecologist and human being, and I will miss him. Please pass on my condolences to his family, may he rest in peace.

Mike Clarke

I really valued Mike's steady and thoughtful editorship, constructively helping all of us to present our research as clearly as we could. A terrific contribution that will be missed.

Segun Osunkoya

I first met Prof Mike Bull close to 25 years ago at the ESA conference and during my PHD days at ANU. I had submitted my first paper to AJB and in reality was apprehensive on how the paper will be judged. He was very supportive of my submission, and even though the manuscript came back with lots of corrections, his constructive and encouraging correspondence to me help to facilitate the eventual publication of the Ms in AJB. Since then we have bumped into each other at many scientific meetings and exchange pleasantries. He was always himself and very unassuming. I will miss him, especially in his role as the chief editor, AJB

May His soul rest in perfect peace, and May God bestow his family the strength to bear the loss.

Mathew Crowther

I was very saddened to hear this news. I have never work with a better Editor, and he was a top rate scientist as well

Gunnar Keppel

Mike was much more than one of Australia's best and most distinguished ecologists - he was a kind and supportive person. I know he will be sadly and deeply missed by many at so many different levels. My codolences to his family and colleagues. May he rest in peace.

andrew beattie

My warmest condolences to Mike's family, his colleagues and to the Ecological Society of Australia on the passing of this great Australian ecologist whose research, service to the Society and friendship was an inspiration to us all.

Kerry Bridle

I'm not really sure what to write. Like many others, I met Mike through the Ecological Society, particularly as Board members. Mike was an excellent mentor, a 'solid' sounding board, and he was wonderfully quick witted. My observations of my own and others' interactions with Mike is that they were always respectful and never dull. What a gentleman and a gentle man. A great loss.

Tein McDonald

Mike was a great support for the founding of ESA's management-oriented journal 'Ecological Management & Restoration'. His support was always ready and always affirming. We will greatly miss his experience and wisdom.

Andy Leigh

Quite apart from his own enduring legacy as an outstanding field ecologist, Mike was amazingly supportive of those at earlier stages of their ecology career, from students to mid-career scientists.  As an Associate Editor of Austral Ecology, I don't think I ever experienced a communication with him, either by email or in person, where his positive support and understanding wasn't palpable.  I will forever remember Mike as a wise and patient mentor to others and for his infectious enthusiasm for ecology. 

Mark Burgman

We will miss his dedication, fairness, insight and unswerving commitment to ecology and conservation of Australia's biota. One of the greats.

Mike Lawes

My heartfelt condolences to colleagues and the family of this wonderful man - he was a scholar and a gentleman. It was a privelege to serve on the editorial board of Austral Ecology with him. His kind and considerate manner was reflected in his management of this journal and in his determination to help early career researchers. 

Emilie Ens

Sorry to hear about the passing of Mike Bull. As a young ecologist his name was always present at conferences and as part of Austral Ecology journal. He has given ecology in Australia and future generations of ecologists solid support both directly and indirectly and his legacy will no doubt endure for a long time.

Chris Johnson

Mike was a great contributor to ecology, and also a memorable presence at conferences: friendly, inquiring, supportive, always responding productively to contributions made by other people. ESA conferences won't be the same without him.

Tanya Mason

As a newly-minted associate editor with Austral Ecology, I have been privileged to work with Mike. He was always patient, astute and conscientious with his advice, feedback and directions. A steady hand at the helm, and I will miss him. My condolences to his family and friends.
My best regards,
Tanya Mason

Tanya Mason

As a newly minted associate editor with Austral Ecology, I have been privileged to work with Mike. He was always patient, astute and conscientious with his advice, feedback and directions. A steady hand at the helm, and I will miss him. My condolences to his family and friends.
My best regards,
Tanya Mason

Richard Kingsford

I always appreciated Mike's quiet unassuming nature - a great scientist as well as a lovely man. He has contributed immensely to our field. We will all miss him.

Ben Hoffmann

Mike, it was a pleasure knowing you and working with you over the years. You were an inspiration to me as a young scientist, and a great person to catch up with at the ESA conferences. Austral Ecology is a testament to your legacy. Your passing was a great shock to me and I'm going to miss you. Rest in peace mate.

Pawel Waryszak

I met Mike once at the ESA conference in Melbourne (2012). We happened to queue for the same snack at one of the conference breaks and he was genuinely interested in what I do. At the end of the talk I was astonished how much he knew about plants. Few moments later I was astonished again how much he knew about plants as I realized that Mike was first of all a zoologist.
I remember Mike as a very friendly fella. His passing is way too soon. I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to all who knew Mike.

Enock Menge

A curtain is now drawn on a life that left an imprint writ large on the ecological World. The contributions of this illustrious ecologist will be appreciated for years to come, yet, for the family and friends it will surely be a loss keenly felt. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends is all we can offer for now.

Enock Menge