It is with sadness that we announce the death of quantitative ecologist and former ESA President Professor Peter Fairweather.
Rebecca Lester from the Centre for Regional and Rural Futures at Deakin University has asked us to share the following reflections with the ESA membership, and we invite you to post your thoughts below, which we will share with Peter’s family.
Peter worked at Flinders, Deakin, Macquarie and Sydney Universities as well as the CSIRO over a period of 35 years. As a quantitative ecologist specialising in the field assessment of ecological variation using well-designed sampling, manipulative experiments and modelling, he strove to seek out the true nature of aquatic ecosystems and human impacts thereupon. He always sought to engender intellectual rigour coupled with a sense of wonder in both his students and colleagues.
Peter was a leading ecologist across marine, coastal and freshwater systems, from basic biology to bioassessment and management-oriented science. He believed that sound environmental management of our waters must be based on an understanding of how such ecosystems work.
He held many roles advising all levels of government, private enterprise, and the non-government sector about better environmental decision-making, including via long-term secondments.
He was an extraordinary scientist – dedicated, incredibly knowledgeable and upholding the highest integrity. More, he was a truly great teacher and mentor who shared his wisdom and experience with generosity, respect and humour. He will be sadly missed.