AN ACADEMIC known as an international founding father of health economics, Gavin Mooney, is said to have been murdered in southern Tasmania.
Professor Mooney and his partner Delys Weston were found dead by police called to their rural home by her 27-year-old son, according to the ABC. Nicholau Francisco Soares has been charged with their murders.
Police said they were called to a house at Mountain River, south of Hobart, early on Thursday, where the couple were found dead with severe head injuries.
Professor Mooney, 69, and Ms Weston moved to Tasmania in 2011 from Perth, where he had been director of the Social and Public Health Economics Research Group and professor of health economics at Curtin University.
His book Challenging Health Economics was published in 2009, and his website said he was working on two other books, on citizens' juries in healthcare, and on healthcare reform. In June 2009 he was awarded an honorary degree in social sciences by the University of Cape Town as ''one of the founding fathers of health economics'', and he consulted on priority setting, equity, Aboriginal health and social determinants of health.
Ms Weston studied the politics of genetic engineering.
''It's just one of those tragic situations, unfortunately,'' Detective Inspector Peter Powell said.
Soares, from Fremantle, was to face court later on Thursday.