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Life and Times

April 20, 2013

For the past couple of years I have been a member of the group working to organize the 2013 GAC-MAC Conference (Geological Association of Canada – Mineralogical Association of Canada). The meeting is now just a month away and there has been a steady stream of tasks: editing guidebooks, organizing field trips, sending out advertisements,  attending meetings … which helps to explain why posts on this page have been rather thin lately. It will be a really good meeting, and it will be really good to have it over with!

One of the most exciting parts of the conference, from my point of view, will be a symposium in honour of my M.Sc. supervisor, Rolf Ludvigsen, titled Life and Times of Phanerozoic Seas. The session description states:

This symposium is to celebrate the work of Rolf Ludvigsen. Rolf has been a major force in invertebrate paleontology in Canada for nearly four decades, mainly specializing in trilobites. After leaving academia, his focus shifted toward the popularization of paleontology. This Special Session encourages a wide variety of presentations about organisms and their activities in ancient seas.

This description says a lot, but it also leaves out a lot. As my supervisor at the University of Toronto, Rolf was mercurial, confrontational, charming, demanding, maddening, entertaining, and tremendously intimidating. He challenged his students by expecting nothing but the best from us, and his approach got results. Several of his former students and postdocs have gone on to successful professional careers in paleontology, and his influence has been immense. The full-day session is organized by Rolf’s former students and colleagues; we are sorry that he cannot be physically present, but his presence will be felt.

Rolf Ludvigsen with students current and past at the 1986 Albany Canadian Paleontology and Biostratigraphy Seminar. L-R: me, Steve Westrop, Brian Pratt, and Rolf. Our cups undoubtedly hold coffee.

Rolf Ludvigsen with students current and past at the 1986 Albany Canadian Paleontology and Biostratigraphy Seminar. L-R: me, Steve Westrop, Brian Pratt, and Rolf. Our cups undoubtedly hold coffee.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Brock May permalink
    April 20, 2013 11:51 am

    Graham,
    Why won’t Rolf be attending?

  2. April 20, 2013 12:09 pm

    He has past on Brock.

    • April 20, 2013 12:27 pm

      Not so, Peter – he is still with us, although not in the best of health.

      • Graham permalink*
        April 20, 2013 4:50 pm

        Yes, unfortunately Rolf is no longer able to travel.

  3. David Greenwood permalink
    April 23, 2013 12:30 am

    Only one I recognized was Brian P; Graham, I had to use the caption to spot you, but the smile was then clearly yours.

    Have a great meeting.

    • David Greenwood permalink
      April 23, 2013 10:33 am

      ps – looks like Brian had made an early start on the ‘coffee’.

    • Graham permalink*
      May 1, 2013 10:41 pm

      Thanks Dave. I take it you aren’t going to get to GAC-MAC? Maybe I will get out to Brandon at some point this summer!

      • David Greenwood permalink
        May 2, 2013 7:47 am

        No GAC-MAC for me. NSERC were not kind … hope to see you out here. I’m sure I could rustle up some ‘coffee’.

      • Graham permalink*
        May 6, 2013 11:25 pm

        OK, I will look forward to it.

  4. Mario Cournoyer permalink
    April 25, 2013 2:25 pm

    Love those 80’s pictures !!! :-p

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