Farish Jenkins 1940-2012

It is with great sadness that we have to report that Farish Jenkins passed away on November 11, 2012 after waging a strong fight against cancer.

When the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology awarded him the Romer-Simpson Medal in 2009, Farish shared his own memories and insights about his career: 2009 Romer-Simpson Medal Recipient

Others have already said it better than I ever could, but Farish Jenkins will be greatly missed.

Read the notes on the PLoS blog Tooth and Claw and from the Nature newsblog to get a sense of Farish Jenkins. The November 14 Boston Globe obituary sums up Farish Jenkins well.

Some of the words used to describe Farish: caring, polite, true gentleman, charismatic, adventurer, storyteller, rare, brilliant, patient. He was all of these things, but more than anything, Farish was an anchor. He provided the reference and research staff in the Ernst Mayr Library with many intriguing and complicated searches for just the right information. He spent time explaining why he needed something specific. He respected the abilities of the staff in the library and museum. He always thanked us for our work on his behalf, no matter how small our contribution. He was funny and a joy to have around. He was an excellent and popular teacher–students could relate to him easily. He could launch a formidable argument–so it was important to be sure of your facts and clear in your reasoning. Farish always did his homework and expected that you would too. Farish never failed to acknowledge good work done by others. He took delight in showing newcomers the “secrets” of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, whether that meant little-known paths through the building or unexpected stories about past inhabitants or current specimens housed in the Museum. The halls of the MCZ will be quieter and less interesting without Farish around.

Farish Jenkins & Jim McCarthy, 1984. From the Archives of the MCZ in the Ernst Mayr Library.

1 Comment »

  1. Dan Belich

    November 14, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

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