path at amsg.austmus.oz.au
Wed Mar 13 18:08:05 EST 1996
Text item: Text_1
It is with a lot of sadness that I am writing this note- Meredith had
been ill for some time with cancer and recently died- those of who who
visited the Worm section at The Smithsonian will remember his cheerful
face and a willingness to help and discuss taxonomic problems and help
clarify morphological structures.
On my first visit I was given a detailed picture of how he was
revising the Family Magelonidae and how he was gradually finding valid
characters to separate this nasty group- to my eyes all of which
looked the same- He agreed to look at some Australian material and we
got a name I wonder what ever happened to that matrix on the wall?
However perhaps it was on my next visit when some amazing animals
arrived and we spent all day looking at these animals- subsequently to
be called Riftia-- these became his consuming passion and over the
next few years he undertook a very detailed study of the morphology
of the group and he never did get back to those Magelonids.
Sometimes working with Steve Gardner he basically sectioned the animal
and was able to reconstruct amazing 3D reconstructions which enabled
them to begin to understand the morphology and which greatly
facilitated all the other studies which began to occur on vent faunas.
While some of us disagree with his suggested phylogeny of the group--
and there status-- without Meredith's detailed studies their true
position could only have bee guessed at.
With Meredith's passing we have lost a truly remarkable invertebrate
biologist and morphologist -- and I have lost a friend as have many of
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