Anthony Hulbert

Emeritus Professor

Citation delivered by Professor Alison Jones Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Health and Communities) and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of Anthony John Hulbert as an Emeritus Professor of the University on 24 April 2019.


Deputy Chancellor, I present Professor Anthony John Hulbert.

143 published articles, 10,000 citations, close to two and a half million dollars in grant funding, 25 congress and symposium lectures, supervision of 35 student research projects, seven awards and fellowships, and 35 years of service to the University of Wollongong. If a man was measured by metrics alone, Tony would be classified as a giant in the scientific world.

However, it is not numbers alone that make a scientist, it is the impact one has on the field, on their students, on their peers. It is their dedication to the scientific method, their enthusiastic pursuit of knowledge, and their unique and profound contribution to the scientific community. It is for these reasons that we acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of Tony Hulbert.

In 1969 Tony completed a Bachelor of Science in Zoology at the University of New South Wales, the first step in his academic journey. He followed this up with a Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology in 1973, which saw him chasing bilbies in the Tanami desert in the Northern Territory and catching spiny-haired bandicoots on Cape York in Queensland. With these adventures, his path in biological sciences was forged.

A CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1973, which included a period at Cornell University, had a major impact on Tony’s research trajectory. His discoveries while studying physiological changes in ground squirrels preparing for hibernation lead to his career-long focus on comparative physiology, specifically on the interrelations between thyroid hormones, cell membrane lipid composition, and metabolism.

Tony joined the University of Wollongong in 1975 as a lecturer in Biology, and retired in 2010 as Professor in the School of Biological Sciences. During his time at UOW he was actively involved in university affairs, serving as Head of the Department of Biology and School of Biological Sciences, serving as a member of the Faculty Executive Committee, and as a member of the Academic Senate and the Senate Standing Committee, and elected as a staff representative on the University Council. He was also a committed and popular teacher throughout his time at UOW, focusing mostly on subjects in comparative physiology and biochemistry. As a teacher, researcher and governor he promoted and enhanced the University’s standing; and he provided a rigorous and enriching environment for learning, producing high quality graduates and research outcomes.

Tony’s impact on the discipline of comparative physiology has been profound, revealed by the quantity of his research output, but, more importantly, by the measures of its quality and the extent of his involvement in its production. His creative insights are original and thought-provoking, and include his renowned ‘membrane pacemaker’ hypothesis. The breadth and quality of Tony’s research is also evidenced by his highly productive collaborations with scientists who are recognised world experts in a diverse range of fields, both nationally and internationally. In 2005 he received a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship, and in 2006 he was awarded the Clarke Medal for distinguished research in zoology by the Royal Society of New South Wales. These, among many other accolades, classify Tony as a distinguished scholar.

The University advocates the importance of lifelong learning, and Tony takes this a step further as a lifelong scholar. He continues to publish research papers and books, supervise PhD students, mentor academic staff and collaborate on research projects. Early on in his career, Tony’s first book chapter was reviewed by the journal Science as “…informative and provocative all at once”. This phrase can be applied to Tony’s entire scientific career: informative, provocative – and dedicated.

Deputy Chancellor, for his distinguished contributions to the international field of comparative physiology, and his exceptional service and dedication to the University of Wollongong and its research community, it is a pleasure and privilege to present Anthony John Hulbert for admission as an Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong.