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Professor George Hughes, 1925-2011

8 February 2011

George Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Zoology, died recently at the age of 85. The School of Biological Sciences offers this tribute and condolences to his family.

It is with great sadness that we report that Professor George Hughes died on 30 January 2011.

Schooled in Liverpool, he was a Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, making his mark in sports (playing hockey for both Cambridge University and Wales) as well as science. After several years lecturing in Cambridge, he came to Bristol in 1965, first as Head of Department (Zoology, 1965-70) and then as Head of the Research Unit for Comparative Animal Respiration (1970-90). After retirement, he held the title of Emeritus Professor of Zoology within the School of Biological Sciences and was a regular visitor to the School right up to last year.

Professor Hughes was a leading scholar in the field of vertebrate respiratory physiology. Indeed, a recent review in the journal Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology (Wegner, J.C. & Graham, J.B. 2010. Volume 157, pages 1-6) praises him as ‘the founder of the modern era of fish respiratory science’ and concluded that Hughes's ‘pioneering measurements paved the way toward the modern analyses of gill hydromechanics and the modeling of respiratory gas exchange in fishes.’ He held numerous visiting Fellowships and Chairs, from the California Institute of Technology, via Kyoto, to the University of Nairobi – a testimony to his international reputation. His classic papers are still regularly cited and his scientific legacy remains.

Professor Innes Cuthill (Head of School, Biological Sciences)

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