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Ralph Lewin (1921–2008)

Nature volume 456, page 889 (18 December 2008) | Download Citation

Ralph Lewin, who died on 30 November aged 87, was a marine biologist specializing in algae, and a poet. Here is an example of his verse:  Toxic Blooms  Toxic blooms, toxic blooms  Vie with smog and sonic booms.  Bigger, thicker, redder tides  Taint the seas with plankticides.  Toll the tocsins! Tides of doom!  Woe to us the bloody bloom!  Neurotoxicants attack  Herrings in the Skagerrak,  Decimating fishes that  Used to throng the Kattegat,  Dooming them to dismal fates:  Death by dinoflagellates.  His poems had a range of topic and tone, but they typically had a thread of gentle humour that also characterized his communications with this journal over editorial standards. Lewin spent most of his long career at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, California, and — science and poetry apart — will also be remembered as co-translator of A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh into Esperanto. More can be found at and>

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