David W. Kirtley

JAMES A. BLAKE jablake at ix.netcom.com
Wed Jul 2 21:19:06 EST 1997

Dear friends, 

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.


Jim Blake
ENSR, 89 Water Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543

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