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Jim Murray Jr

(Virginia & Merton 1951) (13 March 1930 - 5 September 2023)

Jim was born on March 13, 1930, in Lexington, Virginia, and he was educated at Davidson College (1947-1951) and Merton College, Oxford (Rhodes Scholar, 1951-1954). He served in the US Army (1955-1956) and then taught for two years at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, before returning to Oxford to earn a D.Phil. in Zoology. In 1962, he joined the Biology faculty of the University of Virginia.

Jim's main research interests were ecological genetics and the evolution of animal populations. His research on land snails took him to the British Isles, Australia, and on many trips to Polynesia, where he studied the native snails of the genus Partula. At UVA, Jim chaired the Biology Department from 1984 to 1987; served as director of the Mountain Lake Biological Station for thirteen summers between 1964 and 1990; and mentored several generations of graduate students. He was a Fellow and former President of the Virginia Academy of Sciences and a board member of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. He also chaired the University's Arboretum Committee for over 20 years, often saying that this was his favorite University committee.

Jim was an active mountain climber and lifelong conservationist. He spent many happy days exploring peaks and valleys from the Himalayas to the Alps to the Appalachians of his native Virginia. 

Read the full obituary here.