It is my sad duty to inform you that David Choquenot passed away suddenly on Friday.  His colleagues in the Institute of Applied Ecology have been informed and, with the agreement of David’s wife, Associate Professor Dianne Gleeson, I am now letting all colleagues know as soon as possible.

David was an expert in wild animal management with a high international profile in biodiversity and pest management.  He joined us in March 2012 as the Director of the IAE, having come from Landcare Research, New Zealand’s leading environmental science institution, where he was General Manager of Science and Policy.  He was also Professor of Ecology in the Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity at the University of Auckland.  David’s connections with UC went back many years, however, as he had completed a Master of Applied Science degree with us before moving to the University of Sydney for his doctoral studies.

A commemorative event will be held in the Ann Harding Conference Centre on the afternoon of 14 January followed by an informal function at Bimbimbie.  More details will be provided by Professor Nick Klomp as acting Vice-Chancellor in the coming days.

I know that all our thoughts will go out to Dianne and their two young children at this incredibly difficult time.  I also extend my condolences to David’s colleagues and many close friends within the University.  There will be opportunities on 14 January and subsequently for us to express our feelings about this loss and to pay tribute to David for the contribution he made to our world class environmental science.