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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

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Roger David Heady (1938–2013)

by John Dargavel

Roger Heady, at the Scanning Electron Microscope at the ANU, n.d.

Roger Heady, at the Scanning Electron Microscope at the ANU, n.d.

We have put this glorious picture taken by Roger Heady on the cover of this issue as our celebration of a life that brought wood science, advanced technology and an aesthetic sensibility together in a way that enriched our understanding and our delight in the natural world. Roger was a long-standing member of the society who presented his beautifully illustrated papers to our conferences in Coonabarabran (2001), Hobart (2002), Augusta (2005), Christchurch (2007) and Lismore (2010). At these, he was always accompanied by his wife, Yolanda.

Roger came to Australia as a boy when his father took up a small farm in Margaret River region of Western Australia. He trained as a technical officer in the RAAF, before taking up positions with the satellite tracking stations south of Canberra and the scanning electron microscopy unit at ANU. He was rapt in what he saw there and specialised in wood and trees. This led to his 1997 PhD on the anatomy of cypress pine.

In retirement, his artistic side came to the fore in his 2010 book, Exploring the Natural World with a Scanning Electron Microscope that accompanied an exhibition of his photographs in the ANU School of Art. He leaves behind a nearly completed book to celebrate the trees of Canberra in the year of its centenary. Work is underway to make sure that it is published before the year ends.

Roger Heady will be missed by many forest historians around Australia and New Zealand, as I do.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

John Dargavel, 'Heady, Roger David (1938–2013)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Roger Heady, at the Scanning Electron Microscope at the ANU, n.d.

Roger Heady, at the Scanning Electron Microscope at the ANU, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


23 December, 1938


29 January, 2013 (aged 74)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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