Ian Whittington (1960-2014) was made a Fellow of the ASP at the Society’s Annual Conference in Auckland in August 2015. On this page, we include Andy Shinn’s memorial lecture, celebrating the work of Ian Whittington, and the citation accompanying Ian’s Fellowship nomination.

Memorial Lecture

Citation – Fellow of the Australian Society for Parasitology,
Professor Ian D. Whittington

Ian David Whittington completed his PhD at the University of East Anglia, UK in 1986 with Dr Graham Kearn, a leading authority on Monogenea. Ian moved to Queensland, Australia, in 1987 where he worked at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences. He won a prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship in 1990 and continued his work in the Department of Parasitology at UQ before accepting a Lectureship at the same institution (1993-1996). He maintained high research productivity during his Directorship of UQ’s Heron Island Research Station (1996 to 1999) and was appointed to Senior Lecturer in 1997. During his 15 years at UQ, Ian built and led the Monogenean Research Laboratory – the only Australian research team dedicated to the study of monogeneans. In July 2001, his group had the honour of hosting the 4th International Symposium on Monogenea, demonstrating significant international recognition for Ian’s research during his early to mid-career.

In January 2002, Ian moved his research group to Adelaide, South Australia, for a joint appointment as a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Adelaide and head of the Parasitology Section at the South Australian Museum (SAMA). In 2006, he was promoted to Associate Professor/Principal Research Scientist. From 2012 he worked as Head of Biological Sciences at SAMA and was actively engaged in research and administrative duties until his death.
Ian promoted innovative studies of whole parasites to understand parasitism in relation to structure, ecology, life history, systematics and taxonomy and that of their host(s). His holistic studies on live parasite biology, behaviour, life cycles, systematics and evolution included many significant contributions.

Ian published more than 170 peer-reviewed papers over his career and led 25 major research projects (ARC Large, Discovery, Small & Linkage grants) to completion. Ian attracted many students and colleagues through his expertise and knowledge of marine parasites, humorous nature and welcoming personality. He was a dedicated mentor, lecturer and supervisor and provided a supportive, professional environment conducive to productive science and promotion of excellence and exceptional quality. Over his career he supervised and graduated 9 PhD and 16 Honours students and mentored 6 postdoctoral fellows. Many of his former students now work in senior roles in aquaculture, academia and government. He received several notable awards during his career including a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship (1990–1992), a Visiting Professorship Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, La Paz (2006) and the prestigious Fish Parasitologist of the Month (http://www.diplectanum.talktalk.net/fish/).

Ian’s research is well respected internationally and he made considerable contributions to the field through service. He received more than sixteen invitations to speak about his research at national and international conferences and contributed more than fourteen invited peer-reviewed publications. He acted as a grant assessor for numerous national (ARC [IntReader], ABRS, Australian Academy of Sciences) and international (Canada, Czech Republic, Scandinavia, South Africa, UK, USA) schemes. Ian served on the Editorial boards of numerous scholarly journals.

Ian Whittington will be remembered as an inspirational mentor, who changed and shaped the lives of his students and had the admiration and respect of his colleagues. Ian’s contribution to the study of the Monogenea, his dedication to training and supporting early career researchers and his service to the ASP make Ian David Whittington worthy to be elected Fellow of the Australian Society for Parasitology.