Knowledge for a sustainable world

Professor George Rothschild
Emeritus Professor of International Agriculture

Emeritus Professors

Natural Resources Institute, Faculty of Engineering & Science

+44 (0)1634 88 3199

Professor George Rothschild is a dual British-Australian citizen with over 50 years of post-doctoral experience of research and development in low and middle income countryes with lengthy periods of residence in two South-East Asia countries, and shorter-term assignments elsewhere in 40 developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. He obtained a BSc (Hons) at the University of Nottingham - UK in 1959, and a PhD and DIC from the Imperial College of Science & Technology - UK in 1962. His ‘hands-on’ research spanned the first 30 years of his career (up to 1987), mostly in insect pest behaviour and ecology, and their application in integrated pest management; this included 17 years as Chief Research Scientist and Deputy Divisional Chief at the Commonwealth Scientific &Industrial Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, but also assignments in Asia during that time. From 1987 through 1998, Professor Rothschild held various positions including Foundation Director of the then Australian Bureau of Rural Science (BRS), CEO of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and Director-General of the CGIAR International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). He also served for some time as the lead technical adviser to several Australian Federal Government Ministers - including the Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, three successive Ministers for Overseas Development, and the Minister for Primary Industries & Energy. Professor Rothschild joined NRI in 1998 on a part-time basis, assisting the then Director with resource mobilisation and policy issues, and since retirement in 2001 has worked for NRI in various projects funded by the European Commission, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and others. From 2005-2015, he was a part-time programme advisor for Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Chemical Regulatory Directorate (CRD), and is presently (2019) working in two projects in Africa and another in Myanmar. Throughout his career and up to the present he has served as Chair or Member of the governing Boards of a number of international organisations – see Awards and External Recognition section.

Professor Rothschild’s disciplinary research interests are insect ecology, especially population regulatory mechanisms, and insect behaviour, particularly the role of semiochemicals in mediating reproduction. The application of both these areas of research to practical insect pest management (IPM) in horticultural and agricultural crops in the developing world as well as in Australia, represented the main body of work during his “hands-on” post-doctoral research career of ca 30 years After this period, although retaining his more specific research interests, his main roles have been in directing international research for development institutions in Australia and other parts of the world, implementing and managing programmes on a broad range of agricultural and natural resource management issues, and conducting monitoring, evaluation and impact reviews for development partners/investors including ACIAR, FCDO, European Commission, FAO, IFAD and the World Bank, Professor Rothschild has also been actively engaged in advocacy for international agricultural research for development with standing and non-standing parliamentary committees in Australia and similar committees and all-party parliamentary groups in the UK.

***Note: Most research publications ceased in 1991; remaining publications up to the present, largely conference papers and consultant reports;

Selected research publications
  • Rothschild, G.H.L. (2014). Some personal recollections of pheromone research in the 1970s. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 40:311-312
  • Būda, V., Mäeorg, U., Karalius, V., Rothschild, G.H.L., Kolonistova, S.,Ivinskis, P. & R. Mozūraitis, R. (1993). C18 Dienes as attractants for eighteen clearwing (Sesiidae), tineid (Tineidae), and choreutid (Choreutidae) moth spp. Journal of Chemical Ecology 19: 799-813
  • Rothschild, G.H.L. & Vickers, R.A. (1991) Ecology and control of Oriental Fruit Moth. Pp 389-412. In: World Crop Pests – Tortricid Pests. Elsevier. Oxford
  • Vickers, R.A. & Rothschild, G.H.L. (1991) Use of pheromones for control of Codling Moth. Pp 339-354, In: World Crop Pests – Tortricid Pests. Elsevier. Oxford.
  • Szöcs, G, Miller L.A., Thomas, W., Vickers, R.A., Rothschild, G.H.L., Schwarz M., and Tóth, M. (1990). Compounds modifying male responsiveness to main female sex pheromone component of the currant borer, Synanthedon tipuliformis clerk (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) under field conditions.  Journal of Chemical Ecology 16 :1289–1305
  • Rothschild, G.H.L. (1986). The Potato Moth –an adaptable pest of short-term cropping systems. Pp 144-162, In: The Ecology of Exotic Animals & Plants. John Wiley & Sons. NY
  • Vickers, R.A., Rothschild, G.H.L. and Jones, E.L. (1986). Control of the oriental fruit moth, Cydia molesta (Busck) at a district level by mating disruption with synthetic female sex pheromone. Bulletin of Entomological Research 75: 625-634.
  • Rothschild, G.H.L. (1983). Mating disruption of Lepidopterous pests: Current status and future prospects. Pp 207-228.  In: (Mitchell, E.R. Ed) Management of Insect Pests with Semiochemicals: concepts & Practice. Springer, Boston, USA.
  • Rothschild, G.H.L (1982). Suppression of mating in codling moths with synthetic sex pheromone and other compounds. In: Insect suppression with controlled release pheromone systems. Vol 2, Pp 117-134. CRC Press: Boca Raton, USA.
  • Van der Laan, P.A. and Rothschild G.H.L (1981). The Pests of Crops of Indonesia. Ichtar Baru –Van Hoeve   xix  + 701pp.
  • Rothschild, G.H.L. (1971). The biology and ecology of rice-stem borers in Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo). Journal of Applied Ecology. 8:  287-322.
  • Rothschild, G.H.L. (1970). Observations on the ecology of the rice-ear bug, Leptocorisa oratorious (F.) (Hemiptera: Alydidae) in Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo).  Journal of Applied Ecology. 7: 147-167.
  • Rothschild, G. H. L. (1966a). A study of a natural population of Conomelus anceps(Germar) (Homoptera: Delphacidae) including observations on predation using the precipitin test. Journal of Animal Ecology 35: 413–434.
Selected consultancy reports
  • Rothschild, G. and Pillot, D. (2014). Development of a robust commercially sustainable multiple use sorghum value chain in Kenya and Tanzania. ICRISAT. Review of EC-IFAD funded CGIAR projects. Agrinatura-EEIG. European Commission.
  • Rothschild, G. and Tollens, E. (2013). Guidelines for reviewing EC-funded CGIAR Projects after the CGIAR reform in the context of the CGIAR Research Programmes (CRPs) Agrinatura-EEIG. European Commission.
  • Rothschild, G. (2012). Global Public Goods: their Role in contributing to Food Security and Poverty Reduction. Report to Directorate-General.  DevCo. European Commission.
  • Rothschild, G., Adolph, B, Tollens, E. & Mokunweye, U. (2012). Joint Review (External Program & Management Review and Mid-Term Review) of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). FARA. Accra.
  • Rothschild, G. and Tollens, E. (2011). Guidelines for joint review missions applicable in 2011 & 2012 in the EIARD framework for the monitoring & evaluation of the CGIAR. Agrinatura-EEIG. European Commission.
  • Rothschild, G. and Egelyng, H. (2009). Rice policy and technology impact on food security and poverty eradication – AfricaRice Center.  Review of EC-IFAD funded CGIAR projects December 2009. Agrinatura-EEIG. European Commission.
  • Rothschild, G.H.L. (2007). Consultant report to Ad Hoc Executive Committee on CGIAR Reform. Restructuring of CGIAR and System priorities. September 2007. CGIAR, Washington.
  • Rothschild, G.H.L. (2003) Review of ACIAR Project: Management of rodent pests in rice-based farming systems in Southeast Asia.  ACIAR, Canberra.
  • Rothschild, G. (with ODI, CEPA, N.M. Rothschild Ltd) (2002). Rural Enterprise Technology Facility (RETF). Supporting Pro-Poor Private Sector Rural Enterprise Development. Final Report. March 2002. FCDO, London.
  • Rothschild, G. (2002). Review of Biotechnology capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Centres of Excellence in-country and scope for International laboratory at John Innes Centre (JIC) Commissioned – Gatsby Charitable Trust, London. September 2002.
  • Elected Fellow of the ‘Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering’. 1991.
  • Elected Honorary Fellow of the ‘Royal Entomological Society of London’. 2001.
  • Awarded Tropical Agriculture Association (TAA) ‘Development Agriculturalist of the Year.’ 2015
  • Member of Board of CGIAR ‘International Water Management Institute’ (IWMI). 2011-2017.
  • Chair of Board of CGIAR ‘Challenge Programme on Water & Food’ (CPWF). 2008-2011.
  • Member of Board of ‘Crops for the Future Research Centre’(CFFRC/CFF). 2009 to present.
  • Chair of Board of ’International Centre for Underutilised Crops’/ ‘Crops for the Future’. 2005-2009.
  • Chair of ‘European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development’ (EFARD). 2007-2010.
  • Chair of ‘UK Forum on Agricultural Research for Development’ (UKFARD). 2007-present.
  • Member of FCDO RNRRS Crop Protection Research Advisory Committee. 1999-2006.
  • Member of FCDO RNRRS Plant Sciences Research Programme Advisory Committee 2000-2006.
  • Member of Governing Board of CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International). 1992-2000.
  • International Advisory Committee for 2020 Vision (with Norman Borlaug, Robert McNamara et al.). 1995-97.
  • Member of Board of Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS). 1995-97.
  • Member of Committee of International Plant Protection Congresses. 1986-89.
  • Editorial Board (former member) of (i) Bulletin of Entomological Research; (ii) Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment; (iii) International Journal of Pest Management; (iv) Journal of Agricultural Science; (v) BioControl (previously Entomophaga); (vi) Experimental Agriculture.
  • Vice-President of Australian Entomological Society. 1984-88.
  • Member of Australian Entomological Society (present), Member of British Ecological Society (past), Ecological Society of Australia (past); Fellow (Honorary) Royal Entomological Society of London (present, and see above).
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