The Queensland Natural History Award is presented annually by the Queensland Naturalists’ Club Inc. to give recognition to persons who have made outstanding contributions to natural history in Queensland. The award consists of a medallion featuring the Bunya Pine tree and is set in a polished block of Bunya Pine wood. The Bunya Pine Araucaria bidwillii is endemic to Queensland and is the symbol of the Club.
Mr Rod Hobson has had an intense interest in natural history all his life. His passion for the natural world, especially reptiles, emerged during his childhood and continues to this day. His early interests in nature were nurtured by the late Pat Walker, a self-taught naturalist and a field companion to E.A.R Lord, David Fleay, Ian Gall and Garth May, and also the late Dr Jeanette Covacevich.
Over the years Rod’s interest in reptiles widened to include mammals, birds and freshwater fish, and in recent years he became an authority on invertebrates such as dragonflies, land snails, dung beetles, scorpions and centipedes. He also has an interest in terrestrial orchids, carnivorous plants, and fungi.
Rod Hobson worked for about 25 years with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service where he carried out wide-ranging fauna surveys and conservation projects across the state, methodically recording his field observations. He has contributed his extensive natural history knowledge and expertise to scientific research via in-the-field data gathering, observation, collecting and recording.
Rod has published extensively including peer-reviewed articles, research reports, articles and papers for government departments, museums and universities, and popular articles. He has participated in and contributed to studies which have formally acknowledged his work in published, peer-reviewed journal papers, books and popular articles in printed and on-line mediums.
Rod has undertaken many research projects in collaboration with many museums, the Queensland Herbarium, universities and government departments, and with commercial entities. He has also given numerous presentations and talks to, and led excursions for, many schools, community-based natural history associations, community groups, and in recent (pre COVID-19) years he was involved in a wildlife talkback radio program. Due to his expertise and reputation Rod is often the go-to person whenever local journalists need information or comment on wildlife incidents or occurrences.
Rod Hobson’s enthusiasm, expertise and skill has helped expand the knowledge and understanding of the natural world in Queensland.
(pictured) QNC President, Ms Sally Johnsen (left) presents the Queensland Natural History Award for 2021 to Mr Rod Hobson. Photo: Peter Woodall.