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IPHF 2020 pymDr Robert Pym graduated with a Bachelor of Rural Science from the University of New England, Armidale, Australia in 1965. He then joined the New South Wales Department of Agriculture as a Livestock Research Officer in poultry genetics at the Poultry Research Station at Seven Hills in Sydney. Over the next 19 years, his research focussed on genetic and physiological aspects of feed utilisation efficiency and body composition of meat chickens. His work on feed efficiency was instrumental in the adoption of direct selection for food utilisation efficiency initially by Australian poultry breeding companies, and subsequently had a major impact on feed efficiency selection by a significant number of the large international breeders. His MSc in 1971 (University of New South Wales) and PhD in 1977 (University of New England) were both focussed on this area of study. In 1984, Bob moved from Seven Hills to the University of Queensland in Brisbane, where he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Poultry Science in the School of Veterinary Science. His research continued in the above areas until the mid-1990s. Bob’s novel selection ideas and his open sharing of his results have been acknowledged as having had a substantial impact upon the carbon footprint and the economic viability of the global broiler industry. In the late 1970s, Bob developed an interest in small-scale family poultry farming in developing countries and over the years since then has been involved in courses and development projects in a number of countries including Indonesia, South Africa, The Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar and Lao PDR. This led to a sabbatical with FAO in Rome in 2005, during which time he worked closely with FAO personnel involved in support of small-scale family poultry farmers in developing countries, culminating in a major program and workshop in this area at the 23rd World’s Poultry Congress in Brisbane in 2008. He was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the 1st Working Group of the World’s Poultry Science Association’s (WPSA) Asian Pacific Federation on Small-scale family poultry farming and organised the Asian Pacific Federation working group symposium on Avian Influenza and Small-scale Family Poultry Farming in Bangkok in March 2007, to coincide with the 8th Asian Pacific Poultry Conference. Up until his retirement from the University of Queensland in December 2008, Bob lectured to Veterinary and Agricultural Science students on poultry husbandry, genetics and breeding, monogastric nutrition, poultry reproduction and monogastric production systems. He has supervised some 23 successful postgraduate candidatures (12 PhDs), in a range of areas. He has published widely in the above research areas and has been invited to speak at numerous international conferences and meetings since the early 1980s. Bob was President of the Australian Branch of WPSA from 1993 to 2009, was a member of the Australian Egg Industry Research and Development Council from 1989 to 1998 and was the recipient of the Australian Poultry Award in 1995. He has been periodically Editor of the annual Australian Poultry Science Symposium since 1998 and has been on the International Editorial Board of the World’s Poultry Science Journal since 1990. In 2000, he headed the successful bid for the 23rd World’s Poultry Congress and was Chair of the Congress which was held in Brisbane from 30 June to 4 July 2008, where he was elected President of WPSA. Over the subsequent four-year term of his WPSA presidency to 2012, Bob promoted the role of WPSA in facilitating efficient and sustainable poultry production in developing countries through information transfer and improvements in capability and communications. He was instrumental in the formation of the African Poultry Network and has continued his close involvement in promoting the development of the poultry industry and research and teaching capability throughout Africa. As a reflection of this involvement, at the 1st African Poultry Summit in Abeokuta, Nigeria in 2011, Bob was presented with an ‘Outstanding Leadership Award’ plaque by the Nigerian branch of WPSA ‘In Recognition of your Contribution to the Development of the Poultry Sector in Africa’. Bob coordinated and contributed extensively to the major revision of the WPSA Constitution and By-Laws, undertaken by the WPSA Board in 2010. As immediate Past-President of WPSA from 2012 to 2016, Bob continued to promote the development of poultry science in developing countries, through the organisation of meetings, securing financial support for identified key developing country poultry scientists to attend focus meetings, advocating for and securing the opportunity for older WPSA scientists from developing countries to obtain financial support to attend WPSA conferences and meetings, personal attendance and presentations at WPSA-organised seminars and conferences in developing countries, and direct involvement in poultry development projects in developing countries. He was appointed chair of the WPSA Board’s Africa Actions sub-committee in 2013.

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