Ed Bousfield, a daring zoologist
My friend and collaborator Ed Bousfield passed away recently.
We first met briefly in the early 80s through our association
with the Groupe Interuniversitaire de Recherches
Oceanographiques du Québec. He was interested in marine
amphipods (sand fleas); I was studying waves and ocean
currents. We had a lot more in common when we met again
at a conference in the 90s. He had recently retired from his
position at the Canadian Museum of Natural History in
Ottawa and moved to Victoria. "Have you heard about
Cadborosaurus?" he asked me. I told him everything I knew.
He wasn't the first professional zoologist I met who took an
interest in cryptozoology, but certainly the most senior and
prominent, a leading taxonomist, fellow of the Royal Society
of Canada, and world expert in the biology and ecology of
amphipods. Ed immediately joined forces with the British
Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club and stimulated
interest in gathering further evidence about Caddy. We
published "Cadborosaurus, Survivor from the Deep", in 1995,
a systematic review of observations and analysis of biological
characteristics of our elusive cryptid friend. A more detailed
and formal scientific description also appeared in the same year in Amphipacifica, a Journal of Systematic Biology which Ed edited.
In contrast to many professional zoologists who fear association with those "flaky cryptozoologists" Ed
considered the anecdotal evidence for Caddy as a challenge worth scientific attention. He always insisted, as did Bernard Heuvelmans, that he was pursuing
zoological investigations, but he gladly offered his professional views
and advice to the amateurs of the BC Scientific Cryptozoology Club.
We appreciated his bold approach and deep knowledge. Paul LeBlond
In addition to Paul’s thoughts, the
Canadian Encyclopedia published this entry on Ed’s life and work:
Edward Lloyd Bousfield, invertebrate zoologist (b at Penticton, BC
19 Jun 1926 d at Mississauga, Ont 7 September, 2016). An authority
on amphipod crustaceans, marine bio-geography and a fellow of the
RSC, Bousfield has been at the National Museums of Canada
(Canadian Museum of Nature) since 1950 as invertebrate zoologist,
as chief zoologist (1964-74), as senior scientist (1974-86), as
curator emeritus (1986-90) and since 1990 as research emeritus.
Since his retirement he has been a research associate of the Royal
British Columbia Museum (1984-95) and the Royal Ontario Museum
(1984-present). Educated at University of Torontounder A.G.
HUNTSMAN and at Harvard (PhD 1954), his early work was on
barnacle ecology. Since the early 1950s he has studied the taxonomy
and distribution of invertebrates on collecting expeditions all
over Canada, in Alaska, on southern US coasts, in the Pacific, and
on the HUDSON 70 EXPEDITION.
Bousfield has described dozens of new species and made major
revisions of amphipod classification.His studies of the taxonomy and
distribution of Canadian marine animals are major contributions to
knowledge of the country's fauna. Bousfield also taught, being
Adjunct Professor of Biology at Carleton University (1969-
84) and as a visiting professor at schools around the world. In
1985 Bousfield received the government of Canada's Outstanding
Issue 101 BCSCC Newsletter. 2016