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Higgins, Malcolm (?–1977)

Malcolm [Higgins] graduated from the Forestry Department, A.N.U., in 1965. He obtained 1st class honours and was awarded the Schlich medal.

He commenced work with the Queensland Department of Forestry in 1966 and spent his year carrying out hardwood forest inventory surveys in the Maryborough region.

The following year he moved to the Imbil Research Station near Gympie where he was involved in an extensive Hoop Pine Tree Breeding Programme.

His work included a major review of the bud systems and grafting techniques of Hoop Pine and he was responsible for the planning and establishment of a new Hoop Pine Seed Orchard.

During his time at the Research Station he obtained an economics degree externally from the University of Queensland.

In 1971 Malcolm went to the U.S.A. and commenced study at the State University of York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He was awarded an M.Sc. in 1973 for a thesis entitled “A Forest Simulator for Western Oregon”.

He then moved to Purdue University from which he obtained a Ph.D. for a thesis on “Urban Expansion in Southern Indiana: A Study of Land Use Impacts”.

Malcolm returned to Queensland in 1975 and commenced work with the Forest Resources Branch of the Forestry Department. He developed a general purpose forest simulator for native forests including north Queensland rainforests, native hardwoods and Cypress Pine.

Malcolm’s proven academic ability together with his U.S.A. experience, particularly in land use, made him a man with much to offer both Queensland and Australian Forestry.

As an Institute Member he was very active. Although a man of few words, his ability to summarise the salient points of a quite lengthy debate was admired by all concerned. His expertise in environmental and land use discussions will be greatly missed.

Malcolm was killed in a tractor accident on his 20ha. property near Maleny in October 1977.

Original publication

  • IFA Newsletter, vol 19, no 1, March 1978, p 1

Citation details

'Higgins, Malcolm (?–1977)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 February 2020.

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