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Biographical entry Rowley, Ian Cecil Robert (1926 - 2009)

6 February 1926
Edinburgh, Scotland
29 May 2009
Perth, Western Australia, Australia


Ian Rowley was an ornithologist who started working at the CSIRO Wildlife Survey Section (later CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology) in 1953, initially on rabbit control. His studies, dating from this time, on fairy-wrens resulted in his publication of the first study of an Australian cooperatively breeding species. This research made him internationally famous. In later ornithological research Rowley studied the ecology and behaviour of corvids, magpies and cockatoos. His publications include Bird life (1975), Behavioural ecology of the galah in the wheatbelt of Western Australia (1990), and with his wife Eleanor Russell Fairy-wrens and Grasswren (1997). In 1953 Rowley helped Robert Carrick create the Australian Bird Banding Scheme (later the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme). Rowley was an active member of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, being the last Editor of Emu before publication assumed by CSIRO Publishing.



1943 - 1944
Education - Educated at Universities of Cambridge (1943-44) and Melbourne (BAgSc)
1944 - 1948
Career position - Served with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Life event - Migrated to Australia
1953 - 1969
Career position - CSIRO Wildlife Survey Section, working on rabbits and the Superb Fairy-wren
1969 - 1991
Career position - Research scientist (later Senior Principal Research Scientist), CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology
Career position - Australian representative, International Ornithological Committee
1979 - ?
Award - Corresponding Fellow, American Ornithologists Union
1982 - 1991
Career position - Member, Permanent Executive Committee, International Ornithological Congresses
1989 - 1997
Award - Fellow, Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union
1990 - 2000
Career position - Editor, Emu
Award - Inaugural recipient, D.L. Serventy Medal, Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union
Life event - Retired
1997 - 2009
Award - Fellow, Birds Australia

Related Awards

Related Corporate Bodies

Published resources

Edited Books

  • Davis, William E., Recher, Harry E., Boles, Walter E. and Jackson, Jerome A. eds, Contributions to the History of Australasian Ornithology (Cambridge (Mass.) : Nuttall Ornithological Club, 2008), 481 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Davies, S. J. J. F., 'RAOU Fellows: citations: Ian Cecil Robert Rowley', Emu, 89 (3) (1989), 185-6. Details
  • Davies, S. J. J. F., 'D. L. Serventy Medal: citation - Ian Cecil Robert Rowley', Emu, 31 (1) (1991), 130. Details



See also

  • Robin, Libby, The Flight of the Emu: a Hundred Years of Australian Ornithology 1901-2001 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2001), 492 pp. Details

Rosanne Walker and Helen Cohn