Born in England and educated in Ireland, with MSc, PhD and DSc degrees from Queen’s University, Belfast, John Pate has taught at the University of Sydney, Queen’s University and The University of Western Australia.
His special interests are physiology and biochemistry of nitrogen-fixing legumes and ecophysiology of native Australian plants. Since arriving in Perth in 1974, Professor Pate has studied the biology of native flora such as carnivorous and parasitic plants, Proteaceae, legumes and rushes.
He has been a sub-leader in the Cooperative Research Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture, and has studied water and nutrient balances of native bush and agricultural land with the aim of developing sustainable land use based on the principles shown by natural ecosystems.
He has written more than 300 research publications (including several books) and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Royal Society and the Linnean Society.