Historical Records of Australian Science Historical Records of Australian Science Society
The history of science, pure and applied, in Australia, New Zealand and the southwest Pacific

Rossiter Henry Crozier 1943–2009

Benjamin P. Oldroyd and Oliver Mayo

Historical Records of Australian Science 22(1) 80 - 103
Published: 04 May 2011


Ross Crozier, population geneticist and leader in the study of the evolutionary genetics of social insects, was born on 4 January 1943 in Jodhpur, India. He died of a heart attack in his office at James Cook University in Townsville on 12 November 2009. He is survived by his wife Yuen Ching Kok, who was his inseparable companion and collaborator in life as in the laboratory. Crozier was a pioneer in the application of molecular genetic markers to the analysis of social insect populations, and generated much of the theory that made these analyses possible. Ross and Ching Crozier produced the first sequence of the honey bee mitochondrial genome—the second insect mitochondria to be fully sequenced. From the sequence Crozier produced fundamental insights into the nature of DNA evolution, particularly directional mutation pressure towards particular nucleotides. Crozier contributed massively to the development of kin selection theory, which remains the most potent explanatory theory for the evolution of social behaviour in insects.


© Australian Academy of Science 2011

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