John Bain, entomologist, farewelled

Sadly, John Bain, a long standing New Zealand forest entomologist, passed away earlier last week. John started back in the late 1960s and over the years worked on a number of insect groups, covering wasps to wood borers. It was John’s broad and deep knowledge that distinguished his long career. John shared that knowledge willingly and took great pride in training others, especially young researchers, in insect identification, pest risk analysis, forest insect ecology and taxonomy.

John will be remembered nationally and overseas for his skills in cerambycid identification, particularly of larvae which is considerably tricky. He was also well known overseas for his work on other wood- and bark-borers and gypsy moth. He made a significant contribution to the successful eradication of white spotted tussock moth and painted apple moth and the very nearly successful Dutch elm disease eradication campaign.

Amongst those that had the privilege to work with John they will remember– a brilliant sense of humour and quick wit, an aggressive bowler who played business house cricket, a give it everything prop on the rugby field, and a person with a keen interest in social interaction who people gravitated to. John will be missed by many.

Messages of condolences can be sent to and will be passed on to family and colleagues.

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