About Authors

Dr. P.J. Skerman was born at Dalby in Queensland, Australia, and studied at Gatton College (now the University of Queensland, Gatton College) where he received a Diploma in Dairying (1928) and the University of Queensland, Brisbane, graduating with a B.AgSci (1931), M.AgSci (1936), BA (1944), PhD (1957) and was awarded an honorary D.Sc. degree in agricultural sciences in 1987. After working as a research officer with a sugar company in Bundaberg, he returned to Gatton College in 1933 and then in 1943 transferred to Hawkesbury Agricultural College, followed by some years working on engineering and agricultural projects with the Queensland Bureau of Investigation. In 1953 he joined the University of Queensland as Senior Lecturer in Agriculture, where subsequently he was Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Reader in Agriculture until his retirement in 1976. His professional travels as a consultant and expert in pasture and livestock improvement, were extensive, providing assistance to some 22 developing nations including Sri Lanka, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand and in Latin America, and work with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank. In retirement he actively pursued his interest in rural training for crop and livestock development, emphasizing the use of forage legumes. He served on many committees associated with university colleges, institutes, governments, FAO and the World Bank. In 1959, he was made an MBE. He was also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science (FAIAS) and of the Australian Society of Animal Production (ASAP). He authored two key FAO publications: “Tropical Forage Legumes” and "Tropical Grasses". Percy Skerman died in Melbourne at the age of 86 years in 1998.