Paleonet: Fwd: passing of Dr. Richard S. Boardman

Roy Plotnick plotnick at
Mon Jul 18 17:09:24 UTC 2011

Forwarded from  Brian Huber:

The Department of Paleobiology lost one of its curatorial icons this 
past Sunday with the death of Dr. Richard S. Boardman, former Curator of 
Bryozoa. Dr. Boardman received his PhD from the University of Illinois 
soon after he was hired by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1951. He joined 
the NMNH Department of Geology in 1957, which was later split into the 
Department of Paleobiology and Department of Mineralogy. While he was 
Curator-in-Charge for the Division of Invertebrate Paleontology Dr. 
Boardman led a major expansion of the Paleobiology Department by 
accessing funds appropriated to the National Oceanography Program and by 
hiring additional curatorial expertise in the newly opened East Wing of 
the Natural History Building. This resulted in the hiring of Marty Buzas 
(foraminifera; 1963), Ken Towe (1964), Richard Benson (ostrocodes;1964), 
Jack Pierce (sedimentologist; 1965), Daniel Stanley (oceanographer;1966) 
and Alan Cheetham (cheilostome bryozoans; 1966), all from oceanography 
funds, and Tom Waller (Cenozoic bivalves) and Dick Robinson (trilobites; 
Dr. Boardman was best known for his research on Devonian bryozoans and a 
new methodology he developed for thin-sectioning and studying bryozoans, 
which became adopted worldwide. He also was at the forefront of studying 
the biology and ecology of living bryozoans, which afforded new insight 
to the paleobiology of Paleozoic species. Dr. Boardman was a founding 
member of the International Bryozoology Association, he authored and 
co-authored numerous publications on Recent and Paleozoic bryozoa, he 
led the revision of the Treatise of Invertebrate Paleontology’s volume 
on bryozoa, and he was the lead editor of the textbook Invertebrate 
Paleontology, which was published two years after his 1985 retirement. 
His research interest and enthusiasm for the study of bryozoans did not 
diminish during the 23 years that followed his retirement until only the 
last months of his life when health problems prevented him from doing 
his work. During his career and long after his retirement Dr. Boardman 
received a number of awards for scientific excellence and leadership, 
including the Paleontological Association’s Golden Trilobite Award and 
an honorable mention for best paper in the Paleontological Society’s 
Journal of Paleontology. A tribute to Dr. Boardman is planned for the 
next issue of the International Bryozoology Association Bulletin.

Roy E. Plotnick
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago
845 W. Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60607

E-mail: plotnick at

office phone: 312-996-2111     fax: 312-413-2279
lab phone: 312-355-1342

web page:

"The scientific celebrities, forgetting their molluscs and glacial periods, gossiped about art, while devoting themselves to oysters and ices with characteristic energy.." -Little Women, Louisa  May Alcott

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