Paul A. Colinvaux

The MBL flag will be lowered in memory of Society Emeritus member Dr. Paul A. Colinvaux who passed away peacefully on February 28, 2016 after a period of declining health.

Dr. Colinvaux was an eminent paleoecologist and an extraordinarily creative thinker about ecology. For his whole career, he pondered big ecological questions, like how species are distributed and what controls species diversity.

His career included academic appointments at The Ohio State University, where he was Professor Emeritus, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama). After he left the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the 1990s, he and his wife, Dr. Llewellya W. Hillis, moved to Woods Hole and he was affiliated with the MBL Ecosystems Center for many years.

Dr. Colinvaux published extensively on ecological topics and was the author of several books, including Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare: An Ecologist’s Perspective (1978), The Fates of Nations (1980), the textbook, Ecology (1993), and a scientific memoir, Amazon Expeditions: My Quest for the Ice Age Equator (2008).  Dr. Colinvaux also hosted the twenty-part PBS series, What Ecology Really Says.

His family is planning a memorial service for later this year.