It is with great sadness I report the death of a Friend of the Invertebrates. John S. Gray died at 66. on October 21, from Pancreatic Cancer. He received all his degrees from the University of Wales in Bangor and ended Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Oslo, Norway after working at the University of Leeds, England. He was an eminent meiobenthologist and superb ecologist, making contributions to methodology and theory and well as practical aspects, such as the effects of pollution on sediment communities. I never had to chance to meet him, but his work was instrumental in laying the foundation for my own marine ecological studies. He is an ISI Highly Cited Scientist and you can view his publication list here (courtesy of Geoff Read, Annelida list-serve). His legacy will be carried on by several from his research group and his contributions to ecology will continue to be utilized for years to come. Below is an obituary from the University of Leeds:
Members will be sorry to learn of the death on Sunday 21st October of John Stuart Gray. Born in 1941, John did his BSc at the University of Wales (Bangor), following this with a PhD at the Marine Science Laboratories, again Wales (Bangor). His thesis was on the ecology of marine meiofauna – the tiny animals living in between sediment grains of sandy marine environments. This won him the Zoological Society’s T.H. Huxley prize for 1965, and was the springboard for his subsequent career in which he developed the study of the marine benthos, in terms both of its appeal as a system for the study of biodiversity and its utility for the understanding of man-made impacts, especially pollution.
From Wales John came to the University of Leeds, joining the staff of the Wellcome Marine Laboratory in Robin Hood’s Bay. Here he formed a dynamic group working on sediment ecology, building a strong international research reputation, and actively contributing to the teaching programme in the Department of Zoology. At Leeds he began vigorously to develop what later became one of his major contributions, moving benthic ecology and studies of pollution from observation to hypothesis testing. In 1976 he was appointed Professor of Marine Biology in Oslo.
John is survived by his wife Anita and their sons, Martin and Anders.