Watson completed his BSc at the University of Melbourne in 1967. He then took up a position as Senior Demonstrator while studying for his PhD. He was appointed to a Lectureship in Zoology in 1978 and to a Readership in 1989. Watson retired at the end of 1999. His contribution to the development and delivery of teaching programs in Zoology have been wide-ranging and significant. Outside the University he has made major contributions to the Royal Society of Victoria, the Victorian Institute of Marine Sciences, the Australian Society of Herpetologists and the Australian Heritage Commission.