Colin Fisher was born in 1938 in Manchester, England. He was educated in that city at Manchester Grammar School and then went on to study agriculture at the University of Reading. A BSc (Honours Agriculture) degree was awarded in 1960.
At University he developed a strong interest in quantitative genetics and this, combined with some poultry farming experience prior to University, led to the poultry industry becoming a natural home for the rest of his career. Starting initially in the breeding industry with E.F. Fairbairn Ltd at Carlisle, Colin was involved in the early stages of the broiler industry in the UK. However, an industrial takeover - common at that time - led to a return to University to study for a PhD. The University of Reading had been awarded a scholarship to study genetic-nutrition interactions in laying birds and Colin Fisher was the beneficiary of this. He recalls that this was the first time he started to read the nutrition literature seriously and that he found it quite hard going. Fortunately, he was greatly helped by sharing an office with Don Bray, on leave at Reading from the University of Illinois, and of course by the wisdom of his mentor, Trevor Morris. The work for his PhD was completed in 1967 when Colin went to work for a short time in the breeding industry in New Zealand. However, his thesis was completed and the degree awarded only in 1969. To assist with the interpretation of his experimental work Colin invented a statistical device which came to be known, after development in collaboration with others, as the Reading Model. This contributed to the series of experiments at Reading by Trevor Morris and others which largely resolved the problem of determining amino acid requirements of laying hens.
In 1969 Colin Fisher joined the feed industry in the UK and has since worked entirely on nutritional topics. A 2 x 2 factorial career saw two periods in Unilever animal feed concerns and two periods in the Agricultural Research Council's Poultry Research Centre at Edinburgh. Both required rather wide interests in poultry science and also saw an increasing involvement in research management. Colin comments that "Research management is a paradox. On the one hand it is foolish to talk about managing a creative activity, while on the other experience shows that there is a need for guidance and for choosing priorities. I am not sure that my colleagues would have realised it but this contradiction caused me a lot of thought over the lst 15 or 20 years". He completed his formal career as an Assistant Director of the Institute of Grassland and Animal Production with responsibility for pig and poultry research. Unfortunately this was not a very creative time because the AFRC was in the midst of a major reorganization which cost many fine scientists their jobs. It was time for Colin Fisher to leave in 1990.
Since 1990 Colin has worked as an independent consultant. At present this is focused on a part-time post with Ross Breeders Ltd and selling some computer software with colleagues from South Africa and Edinburgh. The association with Ross Breeders has taken him back to his earlier interests in genetics and this he is finding very satisfying.
In the WPSA Colin Fisher has a long association with the UK Branch which he joined in the early 1960s. He was Branch Secretary from 1972 to 1977 and President form 1982 to 1986. In the 1980s he was Chairman of Working Group No. 2 of the European Federation of WPSA Branches and i still a member of the group. Colin has had a close association with the conference programme of the UK Branch, especially the Poultry Science Symposia which, during his period as President, he guided into the UK Branch when the other organizations involved in the series decided to withdraw. In 1994 Colin Fisher was Chairman of the 9th European Poultry Conference held in Glasgow.