October 2, 2014

Robert Benjamin Hill

It is with sadness that the MBL announces the passing of Dr. Robert Benjamin Hill, who died on August 2nd.  Dr. Hill was an MBL Society Emeritus Member from 2010 to 2013, a Society Member from 2001 to 2010, a Visiting Investigator in 1986, and an alumnus of the 1951 Physiology Course. The MBL flag will be lowered in his honor.

A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Thursday, August 8th at the Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole, MA.

An obituary provided by his family is below.

Robert Benjamin Hill died suddenly on Friday, August 2nd, 2013.  Robert was born in New York City on July 23rd, 1930, his parents were Bertha Veeder Hill and Samuel E. Hill.  His family later moved to Troy, NY, where he graduated from High School.  Robert graduated from Tufts University in 1952 with a B.S. in Biology, and then went on to do his Ph.D. with Dr. Welsh at Harvard University.  He received his Ph.D. in 1957.  Robert then taught at the University of Maine for several years before doing post-doctoral research with Dr. Graham Hoyle in Glasgow, Scotland.  Robert then took a faculty position in the Department of Physiology at Dartmouth Medical School.  In the late 1960s, he moved to the University of Rhode Island where he was a Professor of Zoology until his retirement in 2001.  His main research interests were in comparative studies of smooth and cardiac muscle tissue.  Robert conducted research on a variety of marine animals including squid, octopus, sea cucumber, whelk, clam, and the sea hare Aplysia.  He often collaborated with colleagues in Japan and England, and spent many summers conducting research at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.  Robert authored numerous scientific articles and attended many international conferences.  Even after retirement he remained active in research, participating in bioengineering lab classes at the University of Rhode Island and attending scientific meetings.  In 2012, Robert and colleagues received an Intellectual Property Patent Excellence Award from the University of Rhode Island.

Robert was an avid reader, often reading several books at once, and he enjoyed listening to many types of music.

Robert is survived by his wife Isako, his sister Marjorie, his two sons Andrew and Evan, and by five grand children.