Frank William Nicholas was born in Parkes, New South Wales in October 1947. He completed his Certificate in Agriculture at the Yanco Agricultural College in 1965 and spent the following 12 months on the family farm in central NSW. He graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with Honours from the University of Sydney in 1970 and gained his doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in 1974.

Professor Nicholas is an outstanding geneticist in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney. He has an enormous depth of knowledge and interest in an extremely diverse range of species ranging from laboratory animals to cats, dogs and all major farm animal species. This knowledge extends across a wide range of topics including quantitative genetics, population genetics, comparative genomics, the genetic basis of disorders and disease resistance and molecular genetics in animal breeding.

His current research interests include determining the extent to which disorders are inherited, creating a single integrated map for each livestock species, and comparative mapping. He has served on the editorial boards of Animal Genetics, Animal Science and The Veterinary Journal, and is a past President of the Australian Society of Animal Production. Current roles include membership of the Science Advisory Panel of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and of Meat and Livestock Australia's National Beef Genetics Advisory Committee. He is also responsible for bioinformatics in the dairy CRC and for core technologies in Sheep Genomics.

His enormous breadth of knowledge is reflected in the publication of "Veterinary Genetics" in 1987 by Oxford University Press, which was published worldwide. By popular demand, a second book "Introduction to Veterinary Genetics" was published in 1996 (later translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese), with a second edition in 2003, once again with Frank as sole author.

In addition to his love for genetics, Professor Nicholas has a passion for Charles Darwin. He and his wife, Jan, wrote the book "Charles Darwin to Australia", which was awarded the 1990 CJ Dennis Award for Natural History by the Victorian Fellowship of Australian writers.

Frank Nicholas is an outstanding teacher of animal genetics to undergraduate and postgraduate students in animal and veterinary science. Students, many of whom are located worldwide and who are prominent animal geneticists, have had the immense benefit of his knowledge and teaching ability during the last 30 years.

Professor Nicholas is an exceptional driving force in animal genetics. His never-ending enthusiasm to share and develop new animal breeding knowledge is reflected in many ways. One of these was his effort to establish almost single-handedly the "Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (MIA)" database of inherited disorders and other single-locus traits in farm and companion animals. Characteristic of Frank's nature, he has made the efforts of this 25-year project, which he continues to curate, freely available to anyone who is interested. The online version (OMIA) is accessed around 2500 times per week by users from throughout the world.

Recently, Professor Nicholas's significant inputs and editorial advice on publications such as FAO's widely acclaimed "Glossary of Biotechnology for Food and Agriculture" was publicly acknowledged. Over the past 30 or more years, Frank Nicholas has freely given a great deal of his time to undertake constructive criticism of a very extensive range of manuscripts, research programs and scientific institutions; and public acknowledgement of his inputs in this sphere is long overdue.

Professor Nicholas's dedication and assistance to animal breeders and geneticists, not only students and scientists, but also to beef and dairy cattle, sheep, horse, pig, dog and cat breeders, have contributed enormously to the advancement of animal breeding and genetics over the last 30 years.

In 2003 Frank Nicholas was awarded the prestigious Helen Newton Turner Medal in recognition of his distinguished contribution to animal genetics, his exceptional knowledge of the application of quantitative genetics and his ready involvement in its application.

For his outstanding contribution to animal genetics through its application in the Australian livestock industries, for his contributions to teaching genetics and for his contributions to advancing the science of Animal Breeding and Genetics over the past 30 years, the Association for the Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics is pleased to enrol Professor Frank Nicholas as a Fellow of the Association.