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Free Content Ralph Ingram Smith, July 3, 1916–May 12, 1993

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Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts; received A.B. magna cum lande in 1939, M.A. in 1940, and Ph.D. in 1942 under John Welsh, all from Harvard. Served as aviation physiologist in U.S. Army during WW II, and resumed academic career as Instructor in Zoology Department at University of California, Berkeley in 1946. There promoted to emeritus professorship in 1987. Remained professionally active until fatal heart attack following foot race in Santa Rosa, California, and inspirational to very end.

Best known for outstanding graduate students, teaching excellence, and editing identification keys for marine invertebrates in California and in Massachusetts. Won Fulbright awards to Universities of Glasgow, Scotland, and Turku, Finland, Guggenheim Fellowship to University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and NATO Senior Fellowship to University of Copenhagen. Denmark.

Among 64 publications, 25 original contributions on polychaetes: first, in 1950 J. Morph. on embryonic development of viviparous nereid; last, in same journal 42 years later on excretory organs in terebellids. Primary research interest in comparative physiology and animals adaptations to waters of various salinities. Denied accusations of being systematist.

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Document Type: Obituary

Publication date: 1997-03-01

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