An honour for eminent Mongarlowe scientist

Hugh Tyndale-Biscoe. Photo: supplied.
Hugh Tyndale-Biscoe. Photo: supplied.

Ever since Gough Whitlam created the Order of Australia, Hugh Tyndale-Biscoe has thought it was the best recognition any Australian to get.

So when the Mongarlowe resident heard last October that he had been nominated, he was really very pleased.

On Australia Day this year, Mr Tyndale-Biscoe officially received an AM for significant services to science.

“I was very surprised,” Mr Tyndale-Biscoe said.

“I was really very pleased to be chosen by somebody.”

Mr Tyndale-Biscoe lives at Mongarlowe with his wife Marina.

Born in Kashmir, India, he studied in New Zealand.

He has worked in Australian science since he received a CSIRO scholarship to complete a PhD in Perth 57 years ago.

He later worked as a lecturer in zoology at the Australian National University in Canberra, and a researcher into forest mammals.

After this Mr Tyndale-Biscoe moved to CSIRO’s division of wildlife research where he studied reproduction in kangaroos.

It was there in 1992 the team had novel idea for controlling pest species, especially rabbits, which led them to apply for government funding for a cooperative research centre.

This became the Cooperative Research Centre for Biological Control of Vertebrate Pests, of which Mr Tyndale-Biscoe was director until his retirement in 1995.

During his time in the field, he has been a council member, Vice-President and fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He was also a founding member and fellow of the Australian Mammal Society and the Australian Society for Reproductive Biology.

In 1980, he and Mrs Tyndale-Biscoe bought a piece of land at Mongarlowe, where they now live. 

The project they began there is his current passion.

Initially it was a very rough piece of land run with cattle. 

Mr and Mrs Tyndale-Biscoe fenced off parts of the land, letting some regenerate as bushland, and using others for a pine plantation in which they could run their cattle.

Widely spaced pines, allowed grass to grow, meaning cattle could graze under the pines.

Over 35 years, Mr Tyndale-Biscoe watched as the land gradually regenerated. In the end, it played host to about 17 species of mammals, he says.