News: Vale Dr Lloyd Evans AO, FAA, FRS, March 2015

lloydevansDr Lloyd Evans AO, FAA, FRS has passed away in Canberra, aged 87.

Dr Evans was a champion of international agricultural research and of its benefits to Australia and the developing world. He served on the Board of several international agricultural research centres including the International Rice Research Institute,, and was actively involved in the recovery of Cambodia’s rice industry after the ravages of the Pol Pot era.

He was a regular attendant at Crawford Fund Parliamentary Conferences. As a scientist, he worked alongside Sir John Crawford, an economist, in the establishment of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and after Sir John’s death coordinated the compilation of a series of essays, entitled Policy and Practice that celebrated the contribution of Sir John to international development.

“We have lost a great contributor to global food security and his life and work should be celebrated amongst the great Australians who have provided leadership and inspiration in the global war on poverty and hunger,” said Dr Denis Blight, Chief Executive of the Fund.

Professor Gabrielle Persley AM, Research Director for the Crawford Fund was a long standing friend of Dr Evans, having first worked closely with him during the formative years of ACIAR when he was a member of the inaugural Board of Management. Gabrielle writes more personally of Dr Evans:

“Lloyd Evans was a lovely man and he had all the charm and guile of his Welsh ancestors.

“Lloyd was devoted to his wife Margaret, who sadly predeceased him last year, and their children and grandchildren. His son John, who looks so like Lloyd, is carrying on the family traditions in biological science as a Professor of Plant Physiology at ANU in Canberra.

“Lloyd came to Australia from New Zealand. As well as their common interest and commitment to international agricultural research, Lloyd and Sir John Crawford had a shared passion for the cricket. Lloyd would have enjoyed the Cricket World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne this past Sunday night – just not sure which team he would have supported. One of my tasks during the early meetings of the ACIAR Board of Management was to keep an eye and an ear on the cricket during the Ashes matches, and discreetly pass the scores onto Sir John, who would then share them with Lloyd (sometimes interrupting one of his learned colleagues in so doing, saying to Lloyd “this is more important”).

“Lloyd was a great teacher and always had time to share his wisdom (and his sandwiches) with younger colleagues in Canberra, and with much wit, humility and insight as well. He was my mentor and my friend and I will miss him dearly”.

The Academy of Science, which was headed by Dr Evans from 1978-1982, has posted a piece here.