It is with sadness that I convey news of the death of Eugene B. Small on 1 July 2019, following prolonged illness that degraded his body and mind but that left his inner spirit intact. Gene emerged to prominence as a ciliatologist during an era of species discovery as revealed by morphological diversity. He is perhaps best remembered for his enthusiastic, free-spirited artistic approach to the study of ciliates, larger than life personality, and never-ending dedication to all students interested in protistology. Indeed, he pursued undergraduate teaching well into his seventies, always opening his lab door to the curious student and mentoring graduate students until 2007 His scientific accomplishments encompassed the introduction of morphogenetic processes as characters in assessing relationships among ciliates, the development of techniques for visualizing morphology of soft bodied protists using scanning electron microscopy, and the phylogenetic analysis of ciliate taxa based on gross morphology, morphogenesis, and ultrastructure. Those of us who saw Gene as a friend in protistology will always remember him as a scholar and artist, with his eyes glued to a microscope and a pencil in his hand poised over a sketch pad covered with illustrations of ciliates. I will miss him as a mentor, colleague, and dear friend!
In lieu of flowers, his family asks that you consider making a donation to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Gene’s name. Gene loved the Bay, it’s history, flora and fauna.
D. Wayne Coats
Smithsonian Institution, retired