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Donald W. Tinkle
Regents' Proceedings 620

Donald W. Tinkle

RP, April 1980, page 620

It is with deep regret that the Regents learned of the death of DONALD W. TINKLE, Director of the Museum of Zoology and Professor of Zoology, on February 21, 1980.

Dr. Tinkle was born December 3, 1930, in Dallas, Texas. He received his B.S. degree from Southern Methodist University in 1952 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Tulane University in 1955 and 1956, respectively. From 1956 to 1957, he was Assistant Professor of Biology at West Texas State University, and from 1957 to 1965, he served on the faculty of Texas Tech University, where he became Professor. He joined the faculty of The University of Michigan in 1965 as Professor of Zoology and Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles in the Museum of Zoology. He was appointed Director of the Museum in 1975, a post in which he was imaginative and effective, as well as admired and trusted by his colleagues.

He was an exceptionally talented teacher who excelled in undergraduate courses and had a great facility for presenting a complex subject in such a way that it was easily grasped by all students. He was also superb as a teacher at the graduate level where his enthusiasm and deep critical judgment had a strong and lasting influence on his students.

Internationally known and widely respected as one who practiced rigorous science, Dr. Tinkle expected no less of his colleagues. He was the author of more than 80 scholarly papers, and his published research demonstrated a unique and valuable balance of empirical and theoretical approaches to critical problems in ecology and evolutionary biology. He pioneered life history studies of reptiles and was one of the first to accomplish detailed, long-term experiments on natural populations.

Dr. Tinkle served as President of the Southwestern Association of Naturalists (1964-1965), was editor-in-chief (1958-1963), and was associate editor of many journals, including Evolution and American Midland Naturalist. He was also a member of review panels for the National Science Foundation, Atomic Energy Commission, and American Institute of Biological Sciences.

Though his scientific career was short, he received many honors. He held the honorary Maytag Chair in Vertebrate Ecology at Arizona State University in 1972. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Herpetologist's League. In recognition of his research accomplishments, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1979-1980 to continue his long-term field study of the life history and demography of turtles.

The Regents join the entire University community in mourning the untimely death of this outstanding teacher, scientist, and administrator, and extend deepest sympathy to his family.