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October 27, 2003

Long Marine Lab research building named in honor of William T. Doyle, founding director of the Institute of Marine Sciences

By Tim Stephens

A monthlong celebration of the 25th anniversary of UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory culminated in a ceremony on Saturday, October 25, at which one of the lab's original research buildings was dedicated in honor of William T. Doyle, professor emeritus of biology and founder and long-term director of the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS).

Bill Doyle at the dedication of Long Marine Laboratory in 1978. Photo: UCSC Photo Services.

Doyle was largely responsible for the establishment of the Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory, which officially opened in 1978 with two research buildings, a seawater system, and outdoor pools for marine mammals.

The William T. Doyle Research Building, formerly known as the Research Support Building, features laboratories with running seawater, analytical instrument rooms, research offices, and support spaces for marine mammal research. It remains one of the lab's core research buildings.

Doyle's early leadership laid the foundation for what is today a nationally recognized, multifaceted center for research and education in marine science. In recent years, Long Marine Lab has added new facilities, including the Center for Ocean Health, a state-of-the-art research building that opened in 2001, and the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, where exhibits, lecture series, and education programs make the work and discoveries of marine scientists accessible to the public. State and federal research agencies have also built facilities adjacent to the lab.

"The development of the marine lab in recent years has been remarkable," Doyle said. "They have accomplished many of the things that I and the other early planners only talked about doing. They're doing world-class science, and the interaction with other agencies and environmental groups is just wonderful."

Doyle, who graduated from Watsonville High School in 1947, was one of the founding faculty members of UCSC when the campus opened in 1965. He was intimately involved in the planning and development of the marine science program at UCSC and served as chair of the Campus Planning Committee on Marine Studies from 1970 to 1972. His vision and energies led to the establishment of the Center for Coastal Marine Studies as an Organized Research Unit in 1976.

The late Kenneth Norris, a pioneering marine mammal researcher and outstanding teacher, came to UCSC in 1972 and headed the marine program until 1975. Doyle again took on the leadership of the program in 1975 and served as director of the Center for Coastal Marine Studies (renamed the Institute of Marine Sciences in 1983) from its establishment in 1976 until his retirement in 1991.

"We were very fortunate to have two early directors, Bill Doyle and Ken Norris, who were both true visionaries and also worked really hard to make things happen," said Gary Griggs, current director of the IMS.

"[Doyle] saw the opportunity here and recognized that this was a great place to develop a marine science program. And then it took a lot of hard work and persistence and raising of private money to get it done," Griggs said.

Daniel Costa, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology who was one of the first researchers to work with marine mammals at Long Marine Lab, said Doyle played a crucial role in the development of his career and in the careers of many other young researchers at the lab.

"He's been incredibly influential," Costa said. "He knew what kind of support we needed and he always figured out a way to make things happen when you needed something."

Not a marine scientist himself, Doyle is a terrestrial botanist specializing in a relatively obscure and little-studied group of nonflowering plants known as liverworts and hornworts. He still maintains an active research program at UCSC, looking at the distribution and kinds of these plants in California.

As the campus's marine science program developed, however, Doyle and his students delved into various areas of marine botany, with research projects on the ecology of marine algae and marine algal mariculture. Among the graduate students Doyle advised were Julie Packard, now executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Andrew DeVogelaere, research coordinator for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Doyle received his B.A. and Ph.D. in botany from UC Berkeley. He spent five years on the faculty of Northwestern University in Illinois before coming to UCSC as a founding faculty member. In addition to his leadership of the marine science program, he served as dean of the Division of Natural Sciences from 1980 to 1983.

He also served for two terms as chair of the Department of Biology, and served as deputy and acting provost during the early development of Oakes College.
Doyle is a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. In addition to his scientific pursuits, he played the French horn in the Santa Cruz County and Monterey County Symphonies from 1966 to 1980.

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