Dale Roberts
Eugene Eades - 
Noongar Leader

.J Dale Roberts

Emeritus Professor and herpetologist

Since moving to Western Australia as a young man, Dale has devoted much of his life to studying frogs in southern Western Australia and teaching biological science to university students.

As a child, Dale began his fascination with the natural world while beachcombing near his home in South Australia. At about age 13, this led to an encounter with Philinopsis troubridgensis, a mollusc, and the Curator of Marine Invertebrates at the South Australian Museum. Dale says this “experience and interaction were my invaluable start in real science”.

After completing a doctorate in Zoology at the University of Adelaide in 1976, Dale headed west in 1978 to take up a position at the University of Western Australia. By 2006, Dale had risen through the research ranks to become a professor. One hundred and sixty eight refereed journal articles now carry his name, as well as 21 refereed book chapters. His academic work has included supervising many honours and doctoral students, as well as examining PhD theses from multiple universities and reviewing articles for a great many journals. On six occasions Dale was nominated for Excellence in Teaching Awards and in 2014 he was the winner of the Faculty of Science prize for Postgraduate Supervision. In this same year, one of his doctoral students, Michael Rix, won UWA’s Robert Street Prize for the best doctoral thesis of his year.  

Dale has helped describe multiple frog species, and co-authored recovery plans for three threatened species: the white and orange-bellied frogs in the Margaret River-Augusta area, and the sunset frog in peat swamps in the Bow and Kent River drainages. He has also recorded the mating calls of many frog species.