Terry Roberts was born in Edmonton, London on 19th April 1943. Like many scientists growing up in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he passed the 11-plus and attended Grammar School - the Edmonton County Grammar School. He then proceeded to the University College of North Wales at Bangor to study chemistry. He met Lynn at Bangor. They married in September 1965 and this was the start of a long relationship - and also a love of North Wales to which they returned on retirement. Terry obtained his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in chemistry at Bangor and then moved to the US to undertake post-doctoral research at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. Deciding to return to the UK, Lynn and Terry moved to Scotland where Terry did further research at St. Andrews.
He joined the Analytical Division of Shell's Sittingbourne Research Centre in 1969. His remit was to be part of a team studying the metabolic fate of candidate agrichemicals in plants and soils, supporting crop residue analysis required for the registration of plant protection products. His ability to cooperate constructively with fellow scientist showed early in that he helped bring together his activities with the similar group supporting toxicology, studying the metabolism of these development compounds in mammals - to our mutual benefit.
This period coincided with the increased international regulation of agrichemicals and with the involvement of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in pesticide chemistry. Shell encouraged its scientists to look outwards and become involved in these activities where appropriate. This included involvement in the IUPAC Pesticide Chemistry Commission and its 4-yearly International Congresses of the IUPAC Pesticide Chemistry Commission. Terry participated at Zurich (1978) and more so in Kyoto (1982) and Ottawa (1986) and later congresses. During this period he became a valued member of the Commission. Terry also had an interest in publishing and editing. He produced a book Radiochromatography (the use of isotopes in metabolic studies). He also co-edited a series Progress in Pesticide Biochemistry and Toxicology 10 volumes 1980-1995 followed by the Wiley Series in Agrochemicals and Plant Protection, both published by John Wiley. He also co-edited the output from several of IUPAC's International Congresses and other publications of the Commission. Terry did not neglect his 'day job'. His scientific, organisational and communication skills were recognised and he became Section Manager of Environmental Chemistry within the Toxicology environment and later Head of Environmental and Biochemical Toxicology.
Terry moved into the world of Contract Research in 1990 to Covance Laboratories Ltd, Harrogate as Director of Agrochemical and Environmental Services. This honed his skills as a consultant in regulatory aspects of agrichemical development. We continued to work together on various publications but his main impact during my last months at Sittingbourne Research Centre was the help that he gave in the re-deployment of several of our experienced Metabolism and Environmental Chemistry staff when Shell exited the agrichemicals business.
Terry founded the Harrogate, UK office of JSC International in 1996 as Director of Scientific Affairs providing scientific and regulatory consulting services to the agrichemical, biocides and related industries around the world. He was also appointed Secretary to the Division of Chemistry and the Environment within IUPAC. He somehow found time to create a major work for the Royal Society of Chemistry Metabolic Pathways of Agrochemicals. Part 1 (849 pages) and Part 2 (1475 pages). He had help - but he was the moving force and Editor-in-Chief. Part 2 is a book of 'door-stop' proportions - we hope that both parts remain of value as a reference work.
His life was busy and varied. I don't think that he retired in the normal sense of the word. He just gradually tried to do less, leaving JSC for Anglesey in 2006. Throughout his career he created a happy and productive working environment, shared his experience and knowledge both locally and internationally and looked after people - all of this with good humour and care. He was a fine colleague and friend.
Terry died on 27th November 2012. He is survived by his wife Lynn, his children, Chris, Matthew and Marie, and two grandchildren.