Dr Bob McDowall FRSNZ was one of New Zealand’s leading freshwater fish experts with a career-long interest in the natural history of the freshwater fish fauna of the cool to cold regions of the Southern Hemisphere.
Bob had been a tireless worker for the Royal Society of New Zealand over many years on Fellowship selection committees, as Chair of our publishing review team and as our representative on a number of bodies including the Conservation Board.
For a long period, he was science manager in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, before stepping down to focus on research, working for NIWA. He retired from NIWA in 2000 after an extremely productive and influential career spanning 40 years researching the taxonomy and ecology of New Zealand freshwater fishes.
He wrote widely about freshwater fish from the 1960s, and several of his books have become standard reference works. In addition, he wrote extensively for the lay reader. Bob had an MSc from Victoria University of Wellington and a PhD from Harvard University, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.