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Andrew Packard obituary Categorical Occasions

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My good friend Andrew Packard, who has died aged 94, was a polymath-scientist and naturalist. His main scientific contribution involved his work on octopuses, during which he was engaged for many of his life.

Andrew’s examine into why cephalopods change color in advanced patterns demonstrated that it was not nearly camouflage however methods of speaking and expressing emotions.

He was very important of what he referred to as the genetic determinists, who someway “missed the magic” of nature. He understood the speculation of evolution as being about organisms as a complete and never simply genes, and he argued that modern evolutionary principle, which is concentrated on genes, fails to keep in mind emotions (have an effect on) and the function of altruism that may solely be noticed on the degree of interactions between organisms inside species. This various understanding of evolution, he urged, was rather more in step with Darwin’s authentic concepts.

Andrew was born in Sedbergh, Cumbria, to Katharine (nee Johnson), a nurse, and Eric, a instructor who later grew to become a vicar. He was educated at Gordonstoun, initially in Wales to the place the varsity was evacuated through the second world conflict (and when his mother and father each had been on the employees as chaplain and matron), after which in Scotland when the varsity returned north after the conflict ended. He accomplished nationwide service within the navy after which studied zoology at Pembroke Faculty, Oxford.

Andrew’s first job was a lectureship in zoology on the College of New Zealand in Auckland. In 1959 he was invited to affix the employees in Naples on the Stazione Zoologica. He then joined the College of Edinburgh in 1971, first as lecturer and later as reader in physiology, the place college students are mentioned to have been “entranced” by his lectures. He took early retirement from Edinburgh in 1988, partly as a protest in opposition to training cuts and the beginnings of bureaucratic employees evaluation rules, and accepted a chair in zoology on the College of Naples, describing himself as a “refugee from Thatcher”. Andrew additionally labored within the US; in Berkeley within the Sixties and later Stanford.

Amongst different accomplishments, Andrew had a glacier in Antarctica named after him following a organic expedition in 1958; he was a founding father of the Scottish Greens; he labored with Jacques Cousteau on his documentaries, advising him on cephalopod behaviour; climbed mountains with Sir Edmund Hillary, and he wrote a number of kids’s books, together with Mr Spindles and the Spiders, printed in 1961. He cherished sports activities, particularly cricket; and he was an achieved draughtsman and watercolourist. He was additionally terribly charming, and fantastic firm.

His two marriages, to Brigitta (nee Bayer) in 1973 and to Ann (nee Davidson) in 1982, led to divorce. The love of his life was the artist Susanna Linhart, whom he had identified from the Sixties. They entered a civil partnership shortly earlier than she died in 2021. He spent his final three many years with Susanna in La Garde-Freinet, within the Côte d’Azur space.

Andrew is survived by his sons, Ivan, from his relationship with Susanna, and Sasha and Kolje, from his first marriage, and by grandchildren, Natasha, Lucy, Emilia, Luis, Fergus and Lornad.


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