David Hopkins has translated his genuine, respectful and inquisitive ethos into an exceptional career. Growing up in southwest Victoria, David learnt to shear, support the Carlton Football Club and the joys of motorcycling. He completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (1982) and a Masters of Agricultural Science (1985) at the University of Melbourne. He then accepted a position with the Tasmanian Department of Agriculture where, over the next six years David established himself professionally and became instrumental to the state, and nation’s meat research capability. In 1991, David accepted a newly created role as the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) resident meat scientist. David balanced work and study, receiving his PhD from the University of New England (2001) on biochemical mechanisms of meat tenderisation; a Graduate Diploma in Divinity from Morling College (2012); and distinction as a Senior Principal Research Scientist within NSW DPI.
David has published more than 500 scientific journal papers, chapters and technical/extension papers, and collaborated broadly to address industry issues. His research includes work on sheep carcass yield and consistency of quality; novel processing methods and device validation; and, the preservation and prediction of consumer appeal. David has an ongoing interest in understanding meat tenderness and this has resulted in many practical innovations – for example VIASCAN®, new generation electric stimulation, SMARTSHAPE™, amongst many technologies designed for objective carcass
evaluation. His expertise in tenderness is exemplified by the requests to author The Eating Quality of Meat: II-Tenderness in ‘Lawrie’s Meat Science 8th edition’ and each of the Electrical Stimulation, Chemical and Mechanical tenderisation entries in the ‘Encyclopedia of Meat Sciences 2nd edition‘ – books widely considered as the Bible(s) of meat science. David’s academic status also prompted his appointment as an Associate Editor of Animal Production Science and the International Journal of Sheep and Wool Science; Editorial Board Member of Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture, and Agriculture; and the first Australian Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Meat Science.
David has always proven generous with his time and experience, whether discussing practical opportunities and solutions with industry stakeholders or presenting a keynote address at a scientific conference. Moreover, ‘Hoppy’ is an active mentor, supervisor and friend for post-graduate students, his research team members, and visiting or junior scientists alike, and from around the globe. These actions have merited formal recognition with David an Adjunct Professor at Charles Sturt University, University or New England and Shandong Agricultural University (China). He is also as one of few Distinguished Professors of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science. David’s commitment to high professional standards resulted in his receipt of the Rotary Vocational Excellence Award (2012). David has been a member of ASAP since his student days, most recently playing an integral role in the organisation of the 2014 and 2018 conferences.
David has made a significant contribution to the future security of Australia’s red meat sector and is an inspiration to others. In recognition of his success, the Australian Society of Animal Production is pleased to enrol David Hopkins as a Fellow of the Society.