S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Bisschop, Prof John Henry Roosegaarde (zootechnics, plant collection)

Born: 20 December 1898, Pretoria, South Africa.
Died: 27 April 1984, Mount Currie, South Africa.
Prof John Henry Roosegaarde Bisschop

John H.R. Bisschop first obtained an Agricultural Diploma (Cum Laude) at Elsenburg School of Agriculture, Stellenbosch (1917), then a BSc (Agric) at the Transvaal University College (1920) and finally qualified as a veterinarian with the first group of eight students at the Veterinary Faculty, Onderstepoort, in 1925. He served for a while in the department of Gynaecology/Surgery at the Veterinary Research Institute until 1927 when he took charge of the experimental station at Armoedsvlakte, near Vryburg. Here he collected a few hundred plants, which are housed in the herbarium of the National Botanical Research Institute, Pretoria. Although he returned to Onderstepoort in 1928 he remained in charge of the Armoedsvlakte station until 1958.

At Onderstepoort in 1930 he became lecturer and in 1936 professor in Zootechnics, until his retirement in 1962. In this capacity he became a recognized expert on the indigenous cattle breeds of Africa and their resistance to tropical diseases and acted as consultant to Swaziland (1943), Kenya (1945), Botswana (1946), Uganda (1949), Sudan (1951), Lesotho (1952), and Malawi (1953). He also published about 20 scientific papers. In South Africa he served, inter alia, on the Tomlinson Commission (1950-1956) as consultant on the development of rural areas. Documents relating to his work for the commission are housed at the University of Johannesburg.

His wife, Helena R. Bisschop, died in 1960. Both his sons qualified as veterinarians.

List of sources:
Author and Subject Index to the Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Science and Animal Industry (1933-1950) and the Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research (1951-1968). Pretoria: Department of Agriculture, June 1969.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to John Henry Roosegaarde Bisschop / J.H.R. Bisschop.

Posthumus, P.J. Past Veterinarians in South Africa, Vol. 1, 10th edition, [1992].

Vets past. http://www.nda.agric.za/docs/Vetweb/Vets Past AB.htm

Compiled by: D.W. Verwoerd