David W. Kirtley
JAMES A. BLAKE
jablake at ix.netcom.com
Wed Jul 2 21:19:06 EST 1997
I too am saddened by the passing of David Kirtley. I was aware that he
had health problems, but I understand he insisted on carrying on with
his research as best he could. I can share a few moments.
David used to call me from time to time asking if I had specimens of
sabellariids from one place or another or could help him locate some
obscure record. From me, he was hoping to learn about the availability
of deep-sea specimens.
After publication of the first polychaete volume of our Taxonomic Atlas
he called one day to inquire about the plate of larvae of Phragmatopoma
I had published in the Polychaete Introductory chapter. He was worried
about the number and orientation of the feeding tentacles, as I recall.
Being as how I had made those illustrations 20 yrs earlier, I could
barely remember drawing them. But in any case, we did have a great
discussion about the biology of larval and juvenile sabellariids. I
found him a very careful and thoughtful person with an eye for detail.
David was trained as a geologist and as such he was very interested in
the role sabellariids play in preventing erosion along the shore. As a
resident of Florida, beach erosion and beach nourishment are big
issues. I was recently involved in a project at Cape Canaveral that
included beach nourishment issues. In reading the Environmental Impact
documents, I found a letter that David had submitted to the agency of
concern presenting details of the possible impacts of relocating sand
from one location to another on the resident sabellariid populations.
He presented some information that was completely new to me; I suspect
that there are quite a few EISs in Florida that contain letters from
We will miss him.
ENSR, 89 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543
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