Tribute to Professor Emeritus Ivan Miles Goodbody
Posted: April 30, 2014
On behalf of the entire Department of Life Sciences and especially the Centre for Marine Sciences and the Port Royal Marine Laboratory (the latter was Ivan’s research base for over 20 years), we share the sorrow and mourn the loss of a leader in Marine Sciences with the passing of Professor Emeritus of Zoology Ivan Goodbody.
Professor Ivan Goodbody came to Jamaica in 1955 from the University of Aberdeen, to take up the post as Lecturer in Zoology at the young University College of the West Indies. He moved on to become Senior Lecturer in Zoology at University of the West Indies in 1962 and quickly became Professor and Head of the Department of Zoology in 1964, a post he retained until 1986. He then went on to become the founder and first Director, Marine Science Unit from 1986-1989.
Ivan Goodbody the Marine Biologist came to Mona as a general zoologist with a special interest in ascidians (sea-squirts) which are found in mangrove lagoons, on coral reefs, on the deep sea floor and in the plankton of the oceans. Where ever they occurred Ivan explored them all. As a naturalist Ivan explored not only marine organisms but the entire environment which led him to develop teaching and research in marine ecology especially to protect and conserve the natural resources. Human activities were degrading the coastal zone (especially his beloved mangroves) and damaging the productivity and fishery resources. Prof Goodbody encouraged and participated in multidisciplinary research notably the Reef Fisheries and Management Planning in Jamaica and Belize and the Port Royal Reefs funded by the International Centre for Ocean development (ICOD) the Kingston Harbour and Port Royal Mangroves where a boat channel through the mangroves is now named in his honour. However, it was his through his last major research project, the Caribbean Coastal and Marine Study to investigate the influence of the Kingston Harbour on the Hellshire coastline funded by the IDRC that Ivan was best able to demonstrate his dream of multidisciplinary research as this project involved researchers and graduate students from Chemistry, Geography, Botany and Zoology as well as oceanographers from Dalhousie University in Canada.
Although a dedicated scientist, Professor Goodbody found time to give attention to the administration of science. He served as Director, Port Royal Marine Laboratory, 1972-1989, Chairman, Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory (UWI) Management Committee, 1970-1977, Vice-Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mona, 1973-1975, and Dean Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mona, 1975-1977. As Head of the Zoology Department, Professor Goodbody developed a curriculum in Environmental Biology with emphasis on Oceanography, Marine Ecology, Coastal Management and Fisheries and taught many generations of undergraduate students in first, second and final year courses. In addition his pool of graduate students included Barry Wade, Elaine Fisher, George Warner, Peter Reeson, Guy Harvey, Mona Webber (then Lindo), Gerard Alleng, Judith Mendes and Malden Miller, names now synonymous with Marine Ecology in Jamaica and the Caribbean. With all of this Professor Goodbody still found time to serve Jamaica, his adopted country and did so with distinction on the Natural Resources Conservation Authority, 1991-1995, the Beach Control Authority, 1966-1975 and 1981-1991, the Scientific Research Council, 1969-1976 and the Institute of Jamaica, Council member, 1983-1999. It was therefore no wonder that he was the recipient of the Institute of Jamaica - Silver Musgrave Medal, 1974 for contributions to science in Jamaica and the Order of Distinction, Commander Class (Honorary) awarded in the Jamaican National Honours 1979, for contributions in the field of Marine Biology.
In his passing the Department, the Faculty, the University, the country and the discipline have lost a forerunner in marine sciences who has taught much, shared with many and will be remembered by even more. We wish to express our condolences to his wife Charlotte and their family. Charlotte has been with Ivan for the entire time spent in Jamaica supporting and working alongside him every step of the way.
Department of Life Sciences, April 22, 2014