Paul Colinvaux

Born: September 22, 1930
Died: February 28, 2016

Ohio connection: Resident


Paul Alfred Colinvaux was an eminent paleoecologist and educator who wrote about ecological issues. He was born in St. Albans, England. Colinvaux graduated from University College School. In post-World War II England, he entered the British military, serving in Germany. Colinvaux pursued his education after leaving the military; he received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Jesus College Cambridge in Cambridge, England, where he studied zoology. He worked as a pedologist in Canada before coming to the United States, where he received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1962.  In 1964, he took a position at The Ohio State University, where he was a professor of Zoology until his retirement in 1991. A lifelong oarsman, Colinvaux was the first faculty advisor for The Ohio State University rowing team. In 1991 Colinvaux left Ohio to take an appointment at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, Panama.

Colinvaux published several books that include Why Big Fierce Animals Are Rare: An Ecologist’s Perspective (1978), The Fates of Nations (1980), the textbook, Ecology (1993), and a scientific memoir, Amazon Expeditions: My Quest for the Ice Age Equator (2008). He contributed articles to Yale Review, Science, Nature, Ecology, and Quarterly Review of Archeology.

Paul Alfred Colinvaux died on February 28, 2016; he was 85.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization postdoctoral fellowship, 1962-63; outstanding or distinguished teaching awards at The Ohio State University from Student Council, College of Biological Sciences, 1970, The Ohio State University Alumni Association, 1971, and College of Arts and Sciences, 1972; Guggenheim fellowship in London, 1971-72; Ohioana Book Award in field of science, 1978. The Ohio State University Distinguished Scholar Award in 1985.

Additional Resources
Wikipedia: Paul Colinvaux