Reference numberEC/1994/06
TitleBoxshall, Geoffrey Allan: certificate of election to the Royal Society
DescriptionCitation handwritten
CitationDistinguished for his wide ranging studies on the anatomy, functional morphology, taxonomy and biology of crustaceans, especially copepods. Early work concerned the development and population dynamics of the parasitic 'Lepeophtheirus pectoralis'. Appointment to the Natural History Museum led inevitably to taxonomic studies, involving the description of numerous new species, and to the elucidation of taxonomic relationships and gave him wide experience of the Copepoda, both free-living and parasitic, and of the Branchiura. Notwithstanding his museum base he has contributed to our understanding of life histories and ecology, and to the community organisation of planktonic copepods. Particularly significant are his studies on functional morphology and skeleto-musculature and his anatomical comparisons between copepods of diverse habits and affinities. With Lincoln he described a new class, the Tantulacarida, parasitic on other crustaceaens, and later they worked out the curious life cycle of these strange and minute animals. His studies have illuminated copepod evolution and, with Huys, he has proposed a new phylogeny. With Huys as illustrator he has also produced a splendid book on copepod evolution (1991) which includes much original information and exploits the concept of homology at a level of resolution scarcely conceivable a few years earlier. Besides providing a mass of detailed, meticulously researched material, this work boldly challenges the claims of parsimony-based analysis which, it is suggested, treats the concept of homology in a way that is inadequate to deal with the subtleties of evolutionary biology in copepods and other Crustaceans.
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