A Scientific Legend becomes the first Patron for the Sapphire Coast Marine Society

Professor Joe Baker AO, OBE, FTSE, FRACI, C.Chem. - AMSA Patron

Professor Joe Baker becomes the first Patron of the Sapphire Coast Marine Society

The Sapphire Coast Marine Society was founded in 2002 and is now developing a more active engagement in scientific observation and research working with scientists and helping community members and naturalists to make a contribution to the knowledge we have of our coast, its biodiversity and its changing environment. Professor Joe Baker is the best mentor that could be hoped for in this endeavour.

Joe Baker has pursued an illustrious career as a scientist – researcher and teacher, and a wise and generous mentor of many key figures in Australian science, technology and industry. During his 40+ years in science, Joe Baker has been an inspirational leader of the Australian marine science community, and significantly increased knowledge about the plants, animals and molecular biodiversity of Australia’s oceans. One of the three inaugural members of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, he also founded aquaculture and marine biodiscovery research at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Townsville.

President of the Sapphire Coast Marine Society, Michael McMaster says,  “We are extremely fortunate and honoured to have someone who has such wide experience, knowledge and understanding to work with us and guide us as we become more actively involved in long-term scientific studies.”

Joe Baker knows our region as he has undertaken research on most major rocky headlands along our coast. Joe shared some of the findings of this research with our community when he gave a presentation at the recent Atlas of Life – Celebration of Science Forum in December 2012

Throughout his distinguished career Professor Joe Baker has received many honors, including the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1982 for services to marine science, appointment as an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2002 for his contribution to environmental studies and chemistry, and the Lifetime Clunies Ross award as a gifted contributor to his disciplines and a person of national and international repute. In 2002 he was one of 5 people designated as Queensland Greats/Living Legends. He has held many high level and prestigious positions, including being elected a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 1989, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the inaugural Patron of the Australian Marine Science Association since 2007.

From 1993 to 2004 he was the Commissioner for the Environment of the Australian Capital Territory and pioneered State of the Environment reporting for the region. He was the inaugural Chairman of the National Landcare Advisory Committee and is a Past-Chairman of the Australian Heritage Committee. In 1999 he became Chief Scientist of Queensland’s Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.  Joe has recently retired from this position and remains very active, and much sought after nationally and internationally for his great experience and advice.

Joe is on the editorial board of several international marine journals, he has authored and been editor of several books, and has authored or co-authored over 80 scientific papers, and an authority in natural resources management.


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