Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ramsom Myers and Abundance

Ram and Abundance
by S. D. Fuller (a PhD student of Ram's)
Dec 1, 2006

Ram Myers is a man of abundance. He always has an abundance of enthusiasm, support and advice for his students, endless abundance of love for his family – which I first noticed when he would talk to his wife Rita on the phone from his office. Hello my lovely wife he would say, yes my love, I will be home soon, lovely, perfect wife. He always has an abundance of ideas, spilling from his mind to his mouth faster than hecan keep up with. Befitting of all his ideas, Ram has an abundance of published papers on a abundance of topics. Many of them concerning the lack of abundance of marine species and various reasons for this – from evolutionary questions, life history, overfishing, historical events. If you search Google for Ransom A. Myers and abundance, 49,000records are listed. That is an abundance of google hits!

Ram would not be Ram without his abundant curiosity. Have you seen him "in the field" or out on a walk? My favorite field story is Ram in the water in Florida, surrounded by what would certainly be considered an abundance of box jellies, and risking the sting to observe the abundance of small fish taking shelter in the tentacles.

He has an abundance of students and post docs, people who depend on his abundant spirit to buoy them when things are not going quite right, and to learn how to stick to an idea or a hypothesis until a solid, quantitative answer is found. Ram always strives to gather anabundance of data – get all the data in the world, he says. And he does.

Ram has an abundance of commitment to the world of biology and ecology, dedication to using his scientific ability to tell the stories that need to be told. Of all the people I know who work for change in the world, in varying capacities, Ram has the greatest abundance of drive to do the right thing. He has an abundance of trust, trusting his students and colleagues to do the right thing.

He loves an abundance of babies, always encouraging students to have babies as soon as they finished, and supporting them when the babies came along during a thesis. He has what in North America is considered an abundance of children of his own. Ram has an abundance of friends, and even among his critics, we suspect an abundance of secret admirers. All of this abundance, can only be met with an abundance of gratitude, an abundance of respect and an abundance of love. Leave it to Ram to only be diagnosed with cancer, when the cells have reached such great abundance. What Ram hasnever had – is an abundance of time. There has never been enough time to spend with his children, to to spend doing nothing. There has never been enough time to do everything, to spend with everyone, to find all the data, to answer all the questions, to go to all the meetings, to talk to all the reporters, to give all the seminars. The first five minutes of any conversation with Ram are the moments of gold – where a question might get answered before a new idea arose and shoved the issue at hand, aside. Those five minutes are never enough, but enough to get started, enough to be either frustrated or inspired, but oneway or another enough to move on. Ram's lack of abundance of time seems to be the one thing that he has not been able to change. But the time those of us who know him or ever met him, was enough to ensure that his work, enthusiasm, compassion and concern for people and other species, will go on.

S. D. Fuller

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