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Biographical entry Serventy, Dominic Louis (1904 - 1988)


28 March 1904
Brown Hill, Western Australia, Australia
8 August 1988
Perth, Western Australia, Australia


Dominic Serventy was internationally recognised for his expertise in Australian ornithology. Between 1937 and 1951 he worked for the Fisheries Division of CSIR/O and for the Wildlife Survey Section of CSIRO in Perth from 1951. He was taught to make bird skins by Otto Lipfert, the taxidermist of the Western Australian Museum. His research interests covered all aspects of ornithology from biogeography and speciation to breeding seasons and general biology, was a major contributor to scientific journals and had a long-term influence on conservation, Government policies and the cause of natural history generally. Serventy helped his brother Vincent (q.v.) and sister Lucy to revive the Western Australian Naturalists' Club after World War II. He produced an extensive sets of bird distribution maps and wrote Birds of Western Australia (1948. 5th edition 1976) with H.M. Whittell and The Handbook of Australian Seabirds (1971) with Vincent Serventy and John Warham (qq.v.). Serventy was a Corresponding Member of a number of international ornithological societies. An island off the Western Australian coast has been named Serventy Island in his honour. The D. L. Serventy Medal has been awarded since 1991 by the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (and its successors) to a member who has made outstanding contributions to publication in the science of ornithology in the Australasian region.



Career position - Foundation Member, Western Australian Naturalists' Club
Education - BSc (hons), University of Western Australia
Education - PhD, University of Cambridge
1934 - 1937
Career position - Assistant lecturer in zoology, University of Western Australia
1937 - 1951
Career position - Research Officer, Marine Biological Laboratory, Fisheries Division, CSIR/O, Cronulla, New South Wales
1943 - 1947
Career position - Member, Western Australian Wild Life Authority
1946 - 1966
Career position - Australian representative, Standing Committee on Pacific Conservation, Pacific Science Association
1947 - 1949
Career position - President, Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union
1947 - 1980
Career position - Editor, Western Australian Naturalist
1951 - 1969
Career position - Officer-in-charge, Wildlife Survey Section, CSIRO, Perth
1952 - 1988
Award - Fellow, Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union
1953 - 1957
Career position - Chairman, Standing Committee on Pacific Conservation, Pacific Science Association
Award - Australian Natural History Medallion, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
1961 - 1966
Career position - Principal Research Officer, Wildlife Survey Section, CSIRO, Perth
1962 - 1964
Career position - President, Western Australian Naturalists' Club
1966 - 1969
Career position - Senior Principal Research Officer, Wildlife Survey Section, CSIRO, Perth
1966 - 1978
Career position - Member, Permanent Executive Committee, International Ornithological Congress
1966 - 1988
Career position - Permanent Member, Executive Council, International Ornithological Council
1968 - 1969
Career position - Vice-President, Royal Society of Western Australia
Award - Royal Society of Tasmania Medal
Award - Royal Society of Tasmania Medal
1973 - 1988
Award - Honorary Member, Royal Society of Western Australia
1974 - 1988
Award - Fellow, Western Australian Museum
Career position - Vice-President, International Congress, International Ornithological Council
Award - Medal of the Royal Society of Western Australia
Award - D. L. Serventy Medal inaugurated by the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union

Related Awards

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Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Anon, 'Royal Society Medallists, 1979', Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 63 (1) (1980), 29-31. Details
  • Keast, A., 'Obituary: Dr Dominic Louis Serventy', Emu, 89 (3) (1989), 183-4. Details
  • Serventy, D. L., 'The late Major H. M. Whittell. OBE', Emu, 53 (1954), 61-67. Details
  • Serventy, D. L., 'Ludwig Glauert - Museum Director and Naturalist', Western Australian Naturalist, 5 (1957), 148-165. Details
  • Serventy, D. L., 'Historical Background of Ornithology with Special Reference to Australia', Emu, 72 (2) (1972), 41-50. Details
  • Serventy, D. L. and Smith, G. G., ''Miss North's Tree,' Warren National Park', Western Australian Naturalist, 13 (2/3) (1975), 29-31. Details
  • Storr, G. M., 'Obituary: Dr D. L. Serventy (1904 - 1988)', Western Australian Naturalist, 17 (8) (1989), 202-8. Details


See also

  • Erickson, R., 'History of the Western Australian Naturalists' Club', Western Australian Naturalist, 9 (6) (1964), 122-145. Details
  • 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