Forbes is currently a Senior Research Fellow with the University of Adelaide since 2014, based at the Roseworthy campus north of Adelaide. Raised on a sheep and mixed farming property near Colac in Victoria, he graduated from Melbourne University with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Agricultural Science. After several years of working in research and extension roles, Forbes completed a PhD in quantitative genetics at the University of Edinburgh and then spent 28 years working in Victoria and South Australia in industry development, research and research management roles for state government agencies. During that time he also remained closely involved in family farming, managing a 650 ha wool-producing property at Nareen, near Hamilton.
In more recent years, genetic improvement of lamb survival has been a focus of Forbes’s research, including guest-editing 2 special editions in the journal Animal Production Science on behalf of the Sheep CRC. He has written annual genetic reviews of Australian Wool Innovation’s breech strike R, D and E program since 2011 (together with Peter James of QAAFI) and has also led and participated in other AWI-funded projects and consultancies. Forbes was a committee member for the 1995 AAABG conference and vice-President of AAABG for the 2009 conference.