David entered the VSF in 1963 and completed a PhD in 1975 on the calcium nutrition of Radiata Pine. He spent his entire career in forest Research & Development with a focus on soils and nutrition of native forests and softwood plantations. He retired in 2000 as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Forestry and as Inaugural Director of the Forest Science Centre, an alliance between the University of Melbourne and Centre of Forest Tree Technology of the Department.
He became a part time consultant in forest science and permanently retired when aged 69 years to free up time for Hazle and himself to enjoy their five beautiful grandchildren. Guiding lights during his rewarding and enjoyable career included, but were not restricted to, Ron Grose, Fred Craig, Barrie Dexter, Kevin Wareing, Joan Kirner, Bob Smith, Richard Rawson, Mike Leonard, Gary Morgan, John Kellas and John Turner.