The Australian National University
Emeritus Faculty Member

Adrian John GIBBS

7 Hutt St, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 62816971; 0418 489677

I wasted the first five years of my retirement believing that I should try, with two other colleagues, to produce a project of commercial value to the world in general and ANU in particular.  How misguided we were.  After five years of being surrounded by thieves and bullies, we abandoned the project, despite its promise.  Since then, with indispensable help from the ANUEF and two colleagues in Japan (Saga and Kurashiki), I have published 45 multi-author peer-reviewed papers on various aspects of virus evolution – some of them the most interesting in my career, and all listed in an ANUEF eTexts CV:

For many years my wife and I had worked as balloon crew for one of our sons, so in 1995 et. seq. I trained as a balloon pilot, and we had great fun flying our own balloon at various places in Australia until 2005.  The climax was, perhaps, two flights over Wilpena Pound.

Our major activities now are:

  • keeping each other alive;
  • doing good deeds, especially for grandchildren;
  • helping Nik Fominas with eTexts for ANUEF;
  • attending all ANUEF talks, and other public talks on science related topics;
  • writing an occasional Lett2Ed on science-related matters
  • helping Sustainable Population Australia, Nature and Science Forum and other Quixotic enterprises;
  • maintaining a sense of humour.

Curriculum Vitae

Born: February 15, 1934 in London, U.K. Nationality: Australian and British.

Family: wife Patricia Ann Gibbs; three adult sons and six grandchildren.

Education and professional appointments:

Secondary education: King's College, Taunton, Somerset, U.K.

Tertiary education: Imperial College of Science and Technology (Royal College of Science), University of London, U.K. 1956: B.Sc. 1st Class Hons. Botany, Associate of the Royal College of Science, Forbes Memorial Medallist: 1961 Ph.D. (London); 1993. Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science

1956-66 Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden, U.K.; Agricultural Research Council Scholar; Scientific Officer and Senior Scientific Officer.

1966-70 John Curtin School of Medical Research, A.N.U.; Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow;Visiting Fellow 2000-2001.

1970-71 Rothamsted Experimental Station; Principal Research Officer: Honorary Lecturer, Dept. of Virology, University of Birmingham

1971-2001 Research School of Biological Sciences, A.N.U.; Senior Fellow and Professor (E1 - 1992; E2 - 1994); Visiting Fellow 1997-2000; 1972-75 Honorary Associate, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Sydney; 1976-86 Head of Virus Ecology Research Group, RSBS; 1990-7 Group Leader, Molecular Evolution & Systematics Group, RSBS; 1996-7 Head, Centre for Molecular Structure and Function, ANU; 2000-05 Visiting Fellow, School of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, A.N.U.; 1981-84; 1992-93 Council of Australian National University; 1983-7 Board of the Institute of Advanced Studies; 1990-5, General Policy Committee, 1985-86, 1992-94; Committee on Public Affairs and Continuing Education; 1982-93; Scientific Advisory Committee of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, 1987-88; Management Committee of the Centre for Molecular Structure and Function, 1990-92; 1994-98; Management Committee of the Cooperative Research Centre for Plant Science, 1991-95.

Committee and editorial work:

Co-editor of 'Journal of General Virology` (plant viruses), 1969-71; /of 'Intervirology` (plant viruses), 1973-85; /of 'Australasian Plant Pathology` (plant viruses), 1978-81; /of 'C.M.I./A.A.B. Descriptions of Plant Viruses`, 1970-72; /of "Portraits of Viruses: A Review Series", Intervirology, 1979-88;

International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, Exec. Comm. member, 1966-78, 1991-3 (Life Member 1996); Chairman of the Data Subcommittee, 1991-3

Programme Committee, Section on Virology of the IUMS, 1971-2001

Scientific Advisory Board of 'Plant Pathology`, 1981- 2000; /of founding Editorial Board of 'Virus Research`, 1983-87; /of Editorial Advisory Board of 'Archives of Virology`, 1985-2002; /of Editorial Advisory Board of the 'Review of Plant Pathology`, 1987-96; /of Advisory Board of 'Indian Phytopathology`, 1988-96; /of Editorial Advisory Board of the 'Encyclopaedia of Virology`, 1990-93; /of the founding Editorial Board of 'Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution`, 1991-2003; /of the founding Editorial Board of 'Molecular Plant Pathology On-Line, 1996-98

Culture Committee of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, 1987-90

Board of the Australian Genomic Information Centre, University of Sydney, 1991-94

Crop Protection Programme Advisory Board of C.A.B. International, 1996-2000;

Australian Plant Disease Database, Phase 2 Steering Committee. 2001-2003

Research Aims:

To understand the origins, evolution and ecological adaptations of viruses and their hosts by comparative molecular and ecological studies. Virus diagnosis.

Scientific publications:

Co-author or editor of 9 books (one translated into Russian and Chinese). Co-author of 6 networked publications. Author or co-author of 232 research papers or reviews.


Chasing balloons; learning more science, gardening; growing old gracelessly.

June 2008