| Derrick Thomas|| Agricultural scientist|
Derrick Thomas (agricultural scientist) Wikipedia
Derrick Thomas (born in 1944; died on 13 May 2013) was a British agricultural researcher with special contributions to grassland and forage research in the tropics.
Derrick Thomas was educated at the Universities of Wales (BSc Honours Agriculture), Oxford (D.Phil. Agricultural Science) and Queensland, Australia (D.T.A. postgraduate diploma in Tropical Pasture Science).
He initiated his professional career in 1971 in the first British Government research team in Malawi, where he developed new forage-based systems for small-scale beef production. After 4 years, he returned to the United Kingdom to become Lecturer in Tropical Animal Production at the University of Edinburgh.
Derrick Thomas spent large time of his researcher life in South America and Africa, devoted to research for pasture and forage improvement. From 1978 to 1989, he was a senior research scientist in the Tropical Pastures Program at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), one of the research centres under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). He was first based in Brasilia, Brazil and later in Cali, Colombia. While working in South America, Derrick Thomas published extensively on forage research, including several articles together with his CIAT colleague Bert Grof (see below).
In 1989, he was appointed Head of the Plant Sciences Division and Co-ordinator of the Feed Resources and Resource Use Programmes at the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA, now the International Livestock Research Institute, ILRI) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, another CGIAR center. At ILCA he headed multi-disciplinary research teams in sustainable agriculture and natural resources management operating throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
In 1993, Derrick joined the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the Overseas Development Administration in the United Kingdom as Research Manager (Natural Resource Management Department). At the NRI, he undertook short-term consultancy work in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. In 1997, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Biology and, in 1999, he was appointed Professor of Tropical Agricultural Systems.
In 2012 he became a member of the editorial board of the scientific journal Tropical Grasslands – Forrajes Tropicales.