Alan Bell grew up on a dairy and beef farm in South Gippsland, Victoria. He graduated with a first-class honour in Rural Science from the University of New England in 1969. After working with the CSIRO Division of Animal Physiology at Prospect he moved to Scotland and undertook PhD studies at the Hannah Research Institute, graduating from the University of Glasgow in 1976. He returned to Australia to lecture at La Trobe University. Alan then went to Cornell University in 1985 and rose up the ranks to be Department Chair of Animal Science from 1997–2007. He returned to Australia in 2007 to progressively take up the roles of Chief of CSIRO Livestock Industries, Interim Chief CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, and Interim CEO Food Science Australia. These positions are testament to his leadership qualities as many of them were undertaken in challenging times of continuous change. Alan brought honesty and vision to these roles, always arguing for good science with the result that staff respected and followed him.
Alan’s great contribution to science has been through his own research and leadership. His own work has been outstanding and he is internationally recognised for his research on the nutritional physiology of pregnancy, lactation and growth in sheep and dairy cattle. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed original papers and reviews with a total of over 5000 citations. His research has been directed towards the physiology of the animal at a basic level but addressing issues of practical importance to the dairy, sheep and beef industries. The breadth of his work is outstanding and his papers are key references in each fi eld with extensive citations indicating his impact in science and the ground-breaking nature of his research.
Alan has made major contributions to professional organisations within Australia and the USA. He had many positions on committees within Cornell University in addition to his role as Chair of the Department of Animal Science. Alan held senior professional roles with the American Institute of Nutrition (1994–1997), the American Society of Animal Science (1999–2002), the organising committee of the X International Symposium on Ruminant Physiology (1999–2004), the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) and the organising committee of the VIII International Workshop on Modelling Nutrient Digestion and Utilisation in Farm Animals (2014). Within Australia he has provided leadership and measured advice to the Food and Nutrition Steering Committee, the National Primary Industries RD&E Framework (2008–2009), the PISC Industry Development Committee (2008–2012), the MLA Environmental Science Advisory Committee (2008–2010), the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy Research and Development Working Group (2012–2013), the Whole Farm Systems Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Abatement Options for the Southern Australian Grazing Industries Investors Steering Group (2012–2015; Chair) and the Sheep CRC Board Selection Committee (2014–present).
Alan has made a major contribution through his own research to animal science and the animal production industries and he has made equally important contributions in his leadership of organisations and committees, both national and international. Since returning to Australia he has made a major contribution in leadership and direction of the Australian animal industries. For these reasons the Australian Society of Animal Production is pleased to enrol Professor Alan Bell as a Fellow of the Society.