In Memoriam: Ruth D. Gates, 1962-2018

Ruth D. Gates, director and researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) at the University of Hawaii Manoa, died on October 25, 2018. She was 56 years old and had suffered from brain cancer.

Dr. Gates joined the HIMB in 2003 and contributed significant research to understanding coral reef biology and the impacts of climate change on reef ecosystems over the course of her career. As an advocate for coral reef conservation, her research focused primarily on creating “super corals,” which are species of coral occurring naturally in the ocean that can be become more resilient to harsh conditions.

Throughout her career, Dr. Gates received many awards including the University of Hawaii President’s Emerging Leaders fellowship in 2008, the Paul Allen X-Prize Ocean Challenge to Mitigate Impacts of Ocean Acidification in 2013, the 2014 University of Hawaii Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research, ARCS Foundation Scientist of the Year 2015, and 2015 Distinguished Woman Scholar, presented by the University of Victoria in Canada. Additionally, she had been serving as president of the International Society for Reef Studies since 2015.

“Ruth was not only a shining star in coral research, but an indomitable spirit in every aspect of life,” said Judy Lemus, HIMB interim director and friend of Dr. Gates. “Her enthusiasm was contagious, and she absolutely loved what she did. Her loss will be felt deeply within our own community and throughout the broader research community.”

A native of Cyprus, Dr. Gates held a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the department of biology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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