Ross Crozier (1943 - 2009)
One of Australia’s leading biological scientists Professor Ross Crozier has died in Townsville. He was world renowned for his contributions to evolutionary theory, behavioural biology and to genetics.
An Australian Research Council Professorial fellow based at James Cook University, Professor Crozier was a world leader in the study of social insects.
Described by his fellow academics as a true friend, colleague and mentor to many people in the JCU community, Professor Crozier collapsed at the University on Thursday (November 12) and was taken to hospital where efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Professor Crozier is survived by his wife Ching, a senior research worker at James Cook University, and two sons.
The Vice Chancellor of JCU, Professor Sandra Harding, said that Professor Crozier would be sadly missed. “He was an outstanding academic and, in my experience, an outstanding colleague in the best sense of the term,” she said.
Born in India in 1943, Professor Crozier was educated at Geelong Grammar, Melbourne University and did his PhD at Cornell University in the United States.
He worked at the University of Georgia in the early 1970s before beginning a l5-year career with the University of New South Wales in 1975, culminating in a personal chair as a Professor from 1989 to 1990.
In 1990 he was appointed Professor of Genetics at LaTrobe University and in 2000 he moved to James Cook University where he was Professor of Evolutionary Genetics until awarded an ARC professorial Fellowship in 2006.
The same year his work was recognised internationally when he was awarded the inaugural Hamilton award by the International Union for the Study of Social Insects at their world Congress in Washington.
The award was for his life-time contribution to the knowledge of the evolution of social insects, for studies of their evolutionary genetics and for fostering the careers of now leading researchers.
Professor Crozier was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2003 in recognition of his significant contribution to the world’s scientific knowledge of tropical biology, and in particular the fields of molecular evolution, molecular phylogeny of insects, birds and mammals and sociobiology.
Published numerous papers on ant chromosomes and ant genetics.
Buschinger, A.; Peeters, C.; Crozier, R. H. 1990 . Life-pattern studies of an Australian Sphinctomyrmex (Formicidae: Ponerinae; Cerapachyini): functional polygyny, brood periodicity and raiding behavior. Psyche (Camb.) 96: 287-300
Chiotis, M., Jermiin, L.S. & Crozier, R.H. 2000. A molecular framework for the phylogeny of the ant subfamily Dolichoderinae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 17: 108-116.
Crosland, M. W. J.; Crozier, R. H.; Imai, H. T. 1988. Evidence for several sibling biological species centred on Myrmecia pilosula (F. Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Aust. Entomol. Soc. 27: 13-14
Crozier, R. H. 1970a. Karyotypes of twenty-one ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with reviews of the known ant karyotypes. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 12: 109-128
Crozier, R.H., Jermiin, L.S. & Chiotis, M. 1997. Molecular evidence for a Jurassic origin of ants. Naturwissenschaften 84: 22-23.
Imai, H. T.; Taylor, R. W.; Crozier, R. H. 1994. Experimental bases for the minimum interaction theory. I. Chromosome evolution in ants of the Myrmecia pilosula species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmeciinae). Jpn. J. Genet. 69: 137-182
Itow, T.; Kobayashi, K.; Kubota, M.; Ogata, K.; Imai, H. T.; Crozier, R. H. 1984. The reproductive cycle of the queenless ant Pristomyrmex pungens. Insectes Soc. 31: 87-102