Barber was born at Warburton, Cheshire, England, on 16 May 1914 and died at Epping, Sydney, N.S.W., on 16 April 1971.
He was Professor of Botany at the University of Tasmania 1947-63, and then at the University of New South Wales, Head of the School of Biological Sciences from 1966 until his death. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1967 and Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the California Institute of Technology 1953-54. Whilst in Tasmania he had a keen interest in eucalypts and was the first to investigate the species which was subsequently named in his honour: E. barberi L. Johnson & D. Blaxell (1972)
Source: Hall, N. (1978) Botanists of the Eucalypts. CSIRO, Melbourne.