Auszug aus dem EAAE Newsflash 2018 November - In Memoriam Alison Burrell

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In Memoriam Alison Burrell

With deep sadness we have to inform you that Alison Burrell passed away on Tuesday 9 October 2018, at the age of 75 years.

EAAE fellow Alison Burrell passed away

Alison Margaret Burrell was born 9 July 1943 in Sydney, Australia. As a young woman she arrived in Paris, with the intention to follow an education in music (composition). However, the Paris revolt in May 1968 changed her ideas, interests and perspectives, and she switched in her mind to studying economics in the UK. During her scientific career she developed herself as an authoritative and influential international scientist with keen analytical abilities and special gifts as a teacher and editor. In this way she served many of us. In 2016 she returned to her initial passion: composing. Alison Burrell died peacefully at home in Sydney on Tuesday 9 October 2018. Two weeks before this, she was able to listen to the recording of her compositions – together with her brother – in Adelaide. She had a very full life.

During her scientific career she served the profession in several ways. As editor of the European Review of Agricultural Economics (ERAE) – and already earlier – she developed a good overview of this scientific community. As an extraordinarily dedicated person with an outstanding memory and sharp mind, ‘she lived between the piles of journals and papers’ and digested many of them. Alison had an analytical, but often also a synthetic approach. Already in 1993, she became ‘Ex officio member’ of the EAAE Board representing the Review. She was a continuous source of information for Board members. Moreover she wasn’t shy in proposing improvements of a seminar program, the call for papers as well as suggesting persons for the scientific committee of a seminar, based on her large network. Many have experienced her contribution to the profession via this line. Outside the official part of the meetings she was always interested in a good discussion: part of her ‘reward’ for attending long meetings.

In 2005 Alison initiated the 1st EAAE-PhD workshop in Wageningen with 60 presentations, 20 posters and 110 participants. This was done on the bases of the Mansholt Graduate School approach and supported by Irina Bezlepkina (nowadays Verweij-Novikova) and Marcella Haan. Alison’s ‘rich’ network of keynote speakers and other experts for commenting on papers showed up. All participants were - of course - interested in her presentation “How to get published in a scientific journal”. The concept of a workshop for PhD researchers has since been rotating in Europe. This initiative has been a great success, given that the 8th workshop is planned for June 2019 in Uppsala.

Alison educated many (young) researchers how to improve their papers and to be always precise in their derivations, arguments and conclusions. In that way she was supervising part of the research community: improving the standard for publishing scientific research within the profession. She did that also for experienced contributors to the triannual Congress issues of the ERAE: the ‘flagship’ of the European Association of Agricultural Economist’s Congress.

Alison Burrell was involved for years in Erasmus/Socrates programs for exchanging students and in the 'European Masters' program. She also used the opportunity to teach in Montpellier to French-speaking students, in Prague to Eastern European students – often in parts of the field where many of her colleagues preferred not to burn their fingers.

She initiated and (co)authored many interesting studies, papers, often in relation to the European Union. At Eurostat, she started to work in sector modelling at EU level, but often she specialised on dairy policy modelling. Her ability to communicate with administrators and policy makers was unsurpassed.

After her official retirement in Wageningen (2008), she continued her work in a temporary position at the Joint Research Centre (IPTS) of the European Union in Seville, Spain, together with consultancy work after that. She contributed to and initiated several research projects, often with a more multidisciplinary approach. Here, she absorbed and contributed to new developments. Due to this new research environment and her seniority, direct publishing of research reports was much easier. It’s well known that publishing in scientific journals becomes difficult for long-term editors.

Based on her important contributions to the profession, she was named a Fellow of the EAAE in 2011.

During decades she always found time to follow her deep interests in music, literature, cinema and art, and fitted that in micro-trips to art exhibitions at home and abroad. Alison returned to her original passion and completed the first year of a Masters degree in Music composition at Canterbury (UK) in 2016. She then concentrated solely on Composition with private tuition. She made a remarkable step in her life.

An extraordinary person is no longer with us. Many can be thankful to have known her.

Arie Oskam

(with suggestions of Krijn Poppe, Eirik Romstad, Alan Matthews, Chantal LeMouël and Sophia Davidova)



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