Robert Pape was superintendent of dairying in the Department of Agriculture of the Transvaal Colony from 1907 to 1911, and published many short articles on matters relating to dairying in the Transvaal Agricultural Journal. He was presumably trained in the Netherlands, for his first article was titled "The making of full-cream Gouda cheese on a Dutch farm" (1907-1908, Vol. 6). His subsequent 19 articles dealt with topics such as "A small cheese dairy", "The pasteurisation of small quantities of milk and cream in bottles" (1907-1908, Vol. 6); "Germs and milk", "Milk and cattle treatment", "The judging of butter and cheese", "The theory of butter making" (1908-1909, Vol. 7); "Feeding of the dairy cow", "Reduktase test", "Swiss milk goats", "The milk sheep", "The pasteurizer", "Which variety of cheese should be made in the Transvaal" (1909-1910, Vol. 8); and "The Netherlands stud books" (1910, Vol. 9). Many of these articles were published also as separate issues of the Department of Agriculture's Farmers' Bulletin during 1908-1910. In 1908 he furthermore reported on dairying in the Cape Colony.
After the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 Pape was superintendent of dairying in the Department of Agriculture of the Union for a short period. He continued his articles in the Agricultural Journal (Union of South Africa), dealing with "Cream winning" and "Cream ripening" (1911, Vol. 1). amd "Preserving perishable produce" (1912, Vol. 3). By the time the last of these articles was published he had left his post.
In 1909 Pape contributed a paper on "Lime and milk" to the seventh annual congress of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Bloemfontein. His paper was published in the association's Report (pp. 263-269) for that year.