Born in the UK, Prof. Alastair Robertson holds a degree in Applied Biology and PhD in plant biochemistry (photosynthesis) from the University of Bath. He continued his research career with a Post Doctoral Fellowship (University of Cambridge, 1976-79), studying tea polyphenol chemistry.
Prof. Robertson’s career in the UK includes the following roles: Director of the UK Institute of Food Research; Technical Director and Head of R&D with major food retailer, Safeway; Director, Food Science at Campden and Chorleywood Research Association, now Campden-BRI Food Research & Services.
In 2003 Prof. Robertson moved to Australia to become Chief Executive of the CSIRO-DPI Victoria Joint Venture, Food Science Australia. He became the CSIRO Group Executive, Agribusiness in 2005 and Deputy Chief Executive, Science strategy and Investment in 2007. In 2010 he became Group Executive-Food, Health and Life Science Industries, occupying almost one third CSIRO’s operations with a budget of around $375m.
Prof. Robertson retired from CSIRO in September 2013 but has continued to be active on boards (Food Innovation Australia Ltd), committees (University of Technology Sydney – Industry Advisory Group member; Plant and Food NZ – Science Advisory Panel member; Australian Government – Rural R&D for Profit Expert Selection Panel, Royal Society of New Zealand – Chair CoREs Expert Selection Panel) and consultancy roles where he is able to assist researchers in delivering better science quality and impact.