Bill attended Gatton in the 1960s. He graduated from college with a Diploma in Animal Husbandry in 1965. After his time at Gatton, Bill went on to be awarded a Bachelor of Rural Science from the University of New England in 1970 and a Master of Agricultural Science from UQ St Lucia in 1976.

Bill is an internationally respected entomologist. He began his illustrious career in 1970 as a humble Research Officer at the Cattle Tick Research Station at Wollongbar in NSW with the Department of Agriculture.

After obtaining his PhD from Texas A&M University he was appointed Senior Entomologist at NSW Department of Agriculture Myall Vales Research Station before returning to Queensland to take up a position at the Tropical Weeds Research Centre. From 1998 to 2012 Bill was Principal Entomologist at the Allan Fletcher Research Station at Sherwood. He worked with Biosecurity Queensland until 2014 and is currently the Principal of Palmer Biological Consulting.

Bill has written over 70 scientific papers, is passionate about biological control and is currently the President of International Organisation for Biological Control Asia Pacific Region.