Vale Mike Bull and Nick Antic

Flinders is mourning the passing of Professor Mike Bull and Professor Nick Antic.

Professor Bull, whose work in biodiversity and ecology is internationally lauded, died suddenly last week after his morning exercise.

Professor Antic, who was one of Australia’s leading sleep researchers, died peacefully after a long illness.

Professor Bull was particularly well known for his contribution to the understanding of the behaviour and conservation of lizards, especially the sleepy lizard.

He also held a special fondness for pygmy blue tongues, earning them a place in a Sir David Attenborough documentary, and as the author of nearly 300 peer reviewed papers and first named Chief Investigator on 24 ARC grants was one of Australia’s foremost experts in herpetology.

Professor Antic was based at the Repatriation General Hospital, where he had worked as a physician and a researcher. He enjoyed a long relationship with the University, had academic status with the University for a long time and was a well known personality within the School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing.

Faculty of Science and Engineering Executive Dean Professor John Beynon said Professor Bull had been one of Flinders’ longest serving staff members, joining the University in 1973.

“Since 2003 Mike supported the whole Faculty as Associate Dean for Research, a remarkable display of service to our wider community,” said Professor Beynon.

Dean of the School of Biological Sciences Associate Professor Ian Menz said Professor Bull was well known to many staff and generations of students.

“His enthusiasm and engaging presence will be very missed,” said Associate Professor Menz.

Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Professor John Coveney, paid tribute to Professor Antic.

“Nick passed away last night peacefully following a long illness,” said Professor Coveney.

“He remained at work until early this year as Clinical Director of Sleep Medicine at the Repat Hospital within the SALHN Respiratory and Sleep medicine service, while also continuing in major leadership professional roles nationally and internationally.

“His courage, commitment to his patients, dedication to research and teaching, and above all his trademark sense of humour, never wavered.

“Nick trained in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at FMC and Repat from 2002 and has worked at SALHN ever since. He touched and brightened the lives of hundreds of people at SALHN and will be sadly missed.

“Our thoughts today are particularly with his wife Corinne and three lovely children Holly, Lachlan and Charlie.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling expressed his deep sadness at the news of the passing of the two highly respected and much loved members of staff.

“On behalf of Flinders University, I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of Mike and Nick,” said Professor Colin Stirling.

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College of Science and Engineering News School of Biological Sciences School of the Environment

8 thoughts on “Vale Mike Bull and Nick Antic

  1. On behalf of his family, thank you for the kind words. He was a truly remarkable man, not only in his professional life but his personal life too. The most wonderful husband, father and grandfather, we loved him more than can be expressed in words, and miss him already.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Megan. We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to pay this small tribute. Please once again accept our heartfelt condolences. I was fortunate enough to have personally taken the photograph that accompanies this article, and it was an absolute pleasure. There are some more. If you or your family would like them please let me know.
      Grant, Flinders’ Office of Communications and Engagement.

  2. It is with deep sadness that I read about the passing of Professor Mike Bull. Professor Bull was my Honours Degree supervisor in 1991. He sparked in me a passion for understanding the world I live in that persists to this day, and which lead to my Ph.D. in 1997, a ten year career in academia in the U.S., and the last 11 years working within the private and public sectors in New Zealand. I can honestly say that Professor Bull had a greater and more positive influence on my career than any other individual I have known. His passing leaves a void, not just in my life, but in the world at large. My deepest and scincerest condolences to his family. Andrew Peterson, Ph.D.

  3. Mike Bull was a longtime friend of myself and my late wife Marilyn Fox. We both held him in the highest regard as a scientist and as a person. Mike’s contribution to the Ecological Society of Australia was immense and the long term contribution he made as editor of the ESA Journal is the main reason for the success of the journal Austral Ecology. I very much looked forward to catching up with Mike at each annual conference and we usually managed to have dinner together one night. I will very much miss that opportunity to share friendship. Mike will be missed by a great many people and I pass on my most sincere condolences to his family who will miss him most.
    Professor Barry Fox

  4. Two giants in their field passed away on November 24th. Mike was my honours and PhD supervisor. As a first year undergraduate little did I know that the man making those great frog calls in my first year biology lecture would have such a lasting impact on my life. Mike was an exceptional scholar and mentor, he taught me how to do science properly for which I am eternally grateful. After graduating from working with sleepy lizards to working with sleepy children I was fortunate enough to meet Nick. Nick was an outstanding researcher and an inspirational teacher, his wit and humour were legendary and he always supported and encouraged everyone he met. Both Mike and Nick touched many lives in a positive and lasting way and I hope that provides some measure of comfort to their families. RIP Mike and Nick, you were both taken from us too soon.

  5. Very sad to hear that Mike has passed away. He was a great researcher, a good friend, and a massive contributor to the Ecological Society.

  6. Mike was just a beautiful soul. I remember the first time I met him, as a rookie liaison officer trying to get universities interested to take up projects around research data management. Mike, in his gentle, good humoured way, and with a twinkle in his eye, gently eased that tense initial meeting with all manner of stakeholders onto a pragmatic path that was good for him, me, everyone else in the meeting, and Flinders Uni as a whole.

    I have a very fond memory of hearing Mike talk about his lizards. He anthropomorphised them so we could all relate to his research findings in a very human way, and it was one of the best and funniest presentations I’ve ever seen.

    I’m so sad to know he’s gone, and I’m thinking of his family. If you’re reading this, Mike was a wonderful bloke and well loved, and the world is a poorer place without him.

    RIP Mike.

  7. On behalf of the doctors and staff at Goolwa Medical Centre and the many patients we shared with Professor Nick Antic though his respiratory and sleep clinic work I would offer our courage and condolences to Nick’s family and friends.

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