Williams, Gordon - an Appreciation of His Contribution to New Zealand Ecology
- 131a Waterloo Rd, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
The sudden death of Gordon Roy Williams on 19 June 1983 was a sad loss to New Zealand science and, in particular, to ecology and ecologists. Born in South Africa in 1920 and educated in Australia, Gordon joined what is now the New Zealand Wildlife Service in 1949. In this organisation, and later at Lincoln College, he made important contributions to New Zealand ecology as a research scientist, as an administrator and as an educator. Although his research was wide ranging, mostly within the broad field of ornithology, it centred on three main species—California quail, takahe and kakapo; in later years he also became very interested in island biogeography to which he made his own scholarly contributions. His research on quail stands out as his own, but with his later work on endangered species and with his administrative services to ecology, it is often difficult to separate his particular contributions from those of his colleagues; one can but try.