Professor Ian Cowan FAA
Formerly Head – Environmental Biology Group
Research School of Biological Sciences ANU
Ian Cowan lives in Canberra (an ANU RSBS Visiting Fellow),
and in his active retirement, continues to sustain a fulfilling
career as scientist, student of philosophy and bon
He took a degree in physics at London University, studied
briefly in the Soil Physics Department at Rothamsted Experimental
Station (Harpenden, UK) before going to Jamaica to work
on problems of irrigation and drainage on sugar cane plantations.
He nearly became manager of a plantation, but, instead,
after 6 years returned to England. Lectured on soil physics
and micrometeorology in the School of Agriculture of Nottingham
University for 7 years, before coming to Australia, initially
to CSIRO. He subsequently took up a position in the newly
formed Research School of Biological Sciences at ANU, his
research gravitating towards plant physiology and ecology.
He was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences
in 198?, and retired from research in 1993.
Amongst his extra-curricular activities had been the establishment
and part-ownership of Dorette's Bistro, a restaurant
cum nightclub with musical entertainment (both classical
and jazz), and art exhibitions - provided mainly by staff
and students of the ANU Institute of the Arts. Interests
now include dealing in early illustrations of the Australian
flora and fauna, studying (and attempting to write about)
the history of science (particularly evolution), and involvement
with the Independent Scholars Association of Australia.
Download biography as pdf.