Articles | Volume 24, issue 1
01 May 2005
 | 01 May 2005

On the award of TMS Honorary Membership, 17 November 2004 Professor Robin Whatley – an appreciation

Alan R. Lord and John E. Whittaker

Abstract. Robin Charles (Ignatius) Whatley was born a ‘Man of Kent’ in 1936. He was educated at Ashford Grammar School, where an inspiring teacher, Frank Kenworthy, stimulated a series of pupils to become earth scientists, for example, John Catt (University College London), Roy Clements (Leicester University), Ron Cook (recently Vice Chancellor of York University) and Chris Wilson (Open University). Following a varied post-school career as a farmer (1954), National Serviceman (1955–1957), and inshore fisherman based at Christchurch, Hampshire (1957–1959), Robin joined Hull University to read Geology. He graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in 1962, one of the first two ever to be awarded by the department. An interest in Micropalaeontology, in particular ostracods, became apparent during undergraduate years and formed part of his BSc dissertation. A further three years at Hull followed, funded by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR, fore-runner of the modern research councils), leading to the award of a PhD degree in 1966 for a thesis on British Callovian and Oxfordian ostracods, carried out under the supervision of John Neale. As a mature student Robin felt it to be his duty to write stern letters to DSIR pointing out the shortcomings of its procedures and officials, and he was somewhat surprised when, visiting DSIR for a Post-Doctoral Fellowship interview, he discovered that his letters were regularly pinned to the staff notice board to be read by all. As it turned out a Fellowship was not required, as Robin was appointed Assistant Lecturer in Geology . . .