LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Leonard Krishtalka, director of the Biodiversity Institute, issued the following statements on the death of Professor Larry Martin:
Gray-Little: “The University of Kansas and the discipline of paleontology have lost a great voice. Larry Martin’s contributions to his field cannot be overstated, and he leaves a vast legacy both in his students and in his research. On behalf of the entire KU community, I offer the deepest condolences to his loved ones and colleagues.”
Krishtalka: “Larry’s research expertise and interests were enormous, ranging from the evolution and behavior of dinosaurs, extinct sea monsters and fossil birds, to the anatomy and history of saber-toothed cats, to the changing environments of North America during the past 30 million years and how animals adapted to those changes. KU’s program in paleontology is consistently ranked among the top three in the nation, in no small measure due to Martin, who, for 40 years, established the university as the best of the best in research and education in paleobiology.”
Martin, 69, died Saturday, March 9, after a long illness.
He served as a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a curator in vertebrate paleontology at KU since 1972. He authored more than 170 scientific papers in the most prestigious journals and books, and he was the recipient of numerous research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, NASA and other agencies and societies. He trained many students at KU, paleobiologists who are now scientific leaders in the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and universities worldwide.
Martin is survived by his wife, Jean, and two daughters. Services are pending.