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[Annelida] Edward Cutler (1935-2006)

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.co.nz
Sun Sep 3 20:39:15 EST 2006

Posted on behalf of Harlan Dean <hdean1 at mindspring.com>


	We are sorry to report that our dear friend and colleague Edward Cutler 
passed away peacefully on September 2, 2006.  Ed was 71 years old and 
died after a long battle with prostate cancer.

	Ed received his Master's degree from the University of Michigan after 
serving 4 years in the U.S. Navy as a flight instructor.  He received 
his doctoral degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1967 for his 
work on the Sipuncula.  He taught biology at Utica College, serving also 
as Associate Dean for Science and Mathematics for several years, until 
going on disability leave due to his loss of vision due to congenital 
retinitis pigmentosa.  Ed then moved to Cambridge, MA and continued his 
lifelong study of the Sipuncula as a Research Associate at the 
Department of Invertebrate Zoology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 
Harvard University.

	Ed was devoted to his work with the Sipuncula and published many 
monographs of these wonderful animals culminating with his 1994 book The 
Sipuncula: Their systematics, biology, and evolution. After such an 
important landmark work, he continued his studies of many other aspects 
of the faunistic distributions, taxonomy, systematics and evolution of 
sipunculans. Ed collected extensively beginning with the International 
Indian Ocean Expedition of the R/V Anton Bruun during which he was to 
collect pogonophorans for his doctoral work.  They found few Pogonophora 
during that expedition but Ed discovered the Sipuncula during this 
cruise.  His collecting trips took him, and his family, to many parts of 
the globe including Europe, Japan, Russia, and Venezuela.

	On a personal level, Ed had severe health problems, specially his 
blindness, which impeded his ability to work with his worms, but he 
never allowed these impediments get in his way. The three of us formed a 
team of friends and colleagues, and Harlan became literally Ed's eyes 
when examining specimens at the microscope. We enjoyed our lunches near 
the museum, our discussions on sipunculan systematics and our views of 
life. We were always good friends-perhaps the most disparate group of 
three friends possible. And as such we will remain. Ed passed away on a 
September 2nd, the same day that his two MCZ friends celebrate their 
birthdays. We visited him the day before he died and he was glad to hear 
that his latest revisionary paper with his former postdoc Anja Schulze 
and with Gonzalo had just appeared online. We also learned from one of 
his daughters that two days before passing away he made sure to compile 
two sets of his reprints for each of his daughters, showing his passion 
for the animals and knowing the importance of his scientific legacy.  He 
was always enthusiastic about his studies of the Sipuncula and was a 
very generous mentor to others working with "his" animals.   He was a 
courageous man who will be sorely missed by all who knew him, including 
his two daughters and his wonderful wife Ann.

Harlan Dean
Gonzalo Giribet

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