Obituary: Professor Geoff Mercer 1962-2014

Written by Geoff's close colleagues at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH).

Professor Geoff Mercer passed away suddenly on Saturday 12 April, 2014 at the peak of his career.

Geoff was treasured for his personal qualities, his attentiveness as a teacher and mentor, his dedication to service and his research achievements. His gentle strength, positive outlook, unassuming nature, selflessness and delightful sense of humour were greatly valued.

His door was always open and he made time for anyone who needed to talk to him no matter how busy he was. As a teacher and mentor he was patient, generous with his time and ideas, and unwavering in his support.

Geoff contributed in ways above and beyond what was expected and at the time of his death was Acting Director of NCEPH, held Delegated Authority for higher degree research students at the Research School of Population Health (RSPH), oversaw the Masters in Public Health program and was head of NCEPH's infectious disease epidemiology and modelling group.

Geoff also maintained active connections with the Mathematical Sciences Institute through undergraduate teaching, joint supervision and collaborative conference activities.

During his career he also contributed in a variety of roles to the Australia and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Division of the Australian Mathematical Society.

Geoff was passionate about applied mathematics.

Although he only turned his skills to infectious disease modelling when he joined NCEPH in early 2009, his impact was significant.

He was a valued and enthusiastic collaborator, working with NCEPH and other Australian and international colleagues on understanding Australian influenza pandemic preparedness, as well as a variety of other topics, including tuberculosis in the Torres Strait region and Hepatitis E control in displaced persons camps in Uganda.