Professor Robin Crewe

Lifetime Award for achievement by an individual

26 July 2019


Professor Robin Crewe is an internationally-renowned researcher, educator and innovator for the work he has done on social insects, particularly honeybees. His work into these remarkable insects has provided significant insights into their communication systems and social organisation. In addition to this research, he has taught and mentored students, taken on numerous roles as the head of an academic department, and he’s been the leader of two research groups, the dean of natural science at two universities, and the vice-principal for research and postgraduate studies at the University of Pretoria.


He developed a keen interest in the chemical communication and social organisation of social insects — particularly honeybees and ants — while living in the US, and the work that he did on this in his PhD was well received. He was awarded his doctorate with distinction in 1971 and returned to South Africa to take on the role of lecturer in the entomology department at the University of Natal.