Remembering Dr. Leslie Anthony Simpson

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Dr. Leslie Anthony Simpson fondly referred to as Leggy, served the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute with distinction for 19 years, as a CARDI Representative, Soil Scientist and Natural Resource Management Specialist. It was with heavy hearts we learnt of the passing of Dr. Leslie Simpson on 6th August 2022, one day shy of his 73rd birthday.


Born in Guyana, Dr. Simpson pursued studies in Agriculture Science at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine where he obtained his Bachelors, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.


His first stint at CARDI was from 1978-1979 as an Agronomist in Guyana. In 1997, he joined the Institute as a Soil Scientist and Team Leader for the Intermediate Savannahs Agricultural Research and Development Programme of CARDI in Guyana. From 2000 up until his retirement from the Institute in 2016, Dr. Simpson was stationed in Jamaica, where he functioned as the CARDI Representative and Natural Resource Management Specialist.


As the CARDI Representative, Dr. Simpson led the planning and oversaw the implementation of the Unit’s diverse research portfolio. As the Natural Resource Management Specialist, he pioneered the Institute’s Climate Change, Soil and Water and Agro-energy programmes. Dr. Simpson is credited for laying the foundation for the Institute’s very important Climate Change programme. His work in this area remains significant and impactful.


Among his many achievements were: assessing local varieties of local Castor bean varieties for their potential in biofuel production, rejuvenation of mined-out bauxite soils and the initiation of the Caribbean Agro-meteorology Initiative (CAMI) and Caribbean Track of Agriculture Component of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) projects.


Leslie always exemplified a collaborative and calm nature, humility and professionalism, not just as a scientist but as a person. His warm smile and hearty laugh, made him very approachable. He was a patriotic Guyanese, who will be remembered for his many attempts to get his Jamaican colleagues to acquire a taste for black pudding and pepper pot.


Dr. Simpson was the author of several publications and a mentor to many students. His balanced life included committed service to society.


The management and staff extend, heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in eternal peace and light perpetual shine on him.