Portrait image of Dr John Oakeshott.

Dr John Oakeshott is researching biotechnology for the benefit of Australians.

Dr John Oakeshott: Ecosystem Sciences Chief Scientist

Dr John Oakeshott is working to create an understanding of the potential benefits of biotechnology for Australian rural and manufacturing sectors.

  • 5 January 2012

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History


Page 1 of 2

Current activities

Dr Oakeshott is Chief Scientist for CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences.

His work includes:

  • biochemistry of insect hormones
  • enzyme biotechnology
  • enzymatic bioremediation of pesticides
    Dr Oakeshott is researching technologies to grow the Australian bioindustries sector.
  • crop biofactories.


Dr Oakeshott joined CSIRO in 1987 specifically to work on:

  • insect enzyme biochemistry
  • molecular evolution
  • molecular basis of insecticide resistance
  • crop protection biotechnology.

Prior to joining CSIRO he worked on enzyme evolution as a research fellow and senior research fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Dr Oakeshott was appointed a Strategy Director in CSIRO Entomology in 2003 after leading the Biotechnology Program since 1988.

Academic qualifications

Dr Oakeshott holds the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours, University of Adelaide, Australia, 1973
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Adelaide, Australia, 1978.

His PhD was on biochemical genetics of Drosophila.


Dr Oakeshott has received the following awards:

  • Sir Roland Fisher Prize in Genetics, 1972
  • CSIRO One-CSIRO Award (shared), 2004
  • CSIRO Service from Science Award (shared), 2004
  • DuPont Innovation Award (shared), 2006.

Dr Oakeshott is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Molecular Evolution, a position he has held since 2004.

He has also been a member of the advisory board for the Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research since 2000.

He was also a:

  • member of the Commonwealth Government’s Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee, 1990-2001
  • Adjunct Reader at the Australian National University, 1992-97
  • member of the Board of Directors for the Cooperative Research Centre for Biological Control of Vertebrate Pests, 1996-99
  • Academic Associate in the Department of Science and Agriculture at Charles Sturt University, 1997-2001
  • member of the Commonwealth Government's Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee, 2001-04.

Find out more about the work of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences.