Professor Patrick Gerard Quilty AM
Patrick Quilty had a long and distinguished career in Earth Science and Antarctic exploration. His many contributions to the Royal Society of Tasmania have been very significant and highly regarded by members and Council. In 1986 he was elected the senior vice-president of the Royal Society of Tasmania, when the Governor was president. He became president of the Society again in 2010 and was the Chair of the RST Foundation for several years besides being member of the Awards Committee. In 1996 he received The Royal Society of Tasmania Medal for his scientific achievements and service to the Society. In 2011 he convened the highly successful two-day Mawson Symposium for the Society.
Patrick obtained his BSc (Hons) from the University of Western Australia and PhD from the University of Tasmania. He spent six years in the oil industry as a palaeontologist with West Australian Petroleum (WAPET), followed by five years as a lecturer at Macquarie University. His first visit to Antarctica was in 1965/66 with the University of Wisconsin, followed by a field trip to Macquarie island in 1968, with a party that identified the island as a unique piece of uplifted oceanic crust. From 1981 to 1999 Pat was Chief Scientist for the Australian Antarctic Division and ANARE. He made a total of 14 working trips south, including three summers in the Vestfold Hills investigating fossil whales he had originally discovered in 1989, and participated in three ANARE marine science voyages.
During his period at the Australian Antarctic Division, Patrick was very active in international Antarctic leadership, serving as a vice-president of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) for four years, and chairing the organisation of the 20thmeeting of SCAR in Hobart in 1988, as well as symposia on the Vestfold Hills (1984) and Macquarie Island (1987).
Patrick Quilty has published over 200 scientific papers, including six in the last three years with several more in the final stages of submission. He became an Honorary Professor in Earth Sciences and IMAS at the University of Tasmania in 2010 and has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at California State University. His many awards include Member of the Order of Australia (AM), U.S. Antarctica Service medal, Inaugural Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Tasmania, and the Phillip Law Medal of the ANARE Club. Two Antarctic geographic features and five fossil species have been named in his honour.
Honorary Professor Patrick Quilty was a warm hearted and generous man, who epitomised the mission of our Society (the advancement of knowledge), and devoted much of his valuable time to Society matters. He will be greatly missed by our members.