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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984

Braz. J. Biol. vol.71 no.1 São Carlos Feb. 2011 


Professor Dr. Clovis Teixeira died peacefully at his home in São Paulo on 29th December, 2010. With his death, Brazil lost a scientist of high calibre who contributed to Brazilian science for more than 40 years. Clovis Teixeira graduated in Natural History at the University of São Paulo in 1958. He started to work at the Oceanographic Institute of USP in 1959. He was interested in phytoplankton ecology and to develop studies on primary production of phytoplankton. . He was, during one year, 1961-1962 at the Freshwater Laboratory of professor E.Steeman-Nielsen in Copenhagen Denmark where he learned the techniques of determining phytoplanktonic primary production using 14C. He was on a scientific cruise in the ship Danna during this period; in this cruise, he was acquainted with up to date oceanographic technology that then he introduced in Brazil

In 1962, Clovis Teixeira started an in-depth study of phytoplankton ecology, biogeochemical cycles, physical and chemical factors and climatology in the Lagunar Region of Cananeia where 6 people, José Galizia Tundisi, Takako Matsumura, Myriam Kutner, Scintilla A. Prado and Maryse Paranagua joined him. This group, along with some students and with the stimulus of Dr. Martha Vannucci, produced several papers for the series Plankton studies in a mangrove environment. These papers have citations in the international literature, until today.

Clovis was a capable and passionate leader about this work and we all admired his energy for scientific work, his insight and his vision for a future of oceanography in Brazil.

His work opened several new lines of research in Brazil: diurnal cycles of environmental factors, at sea, size fractionation of phytoplankton, excretion of organic matter by phytoplankton, interactions biological-physical and chemical factors, physiological responses of phytoplankton to light. This was in fact the first interdisciplinary effort in oceanography in Brazil, applied latter to fresh water ecosystems. He also, associated internationally with outstanding scientists such as E. Paasche, Theodore Smayda promoting scientific visits and training courses, in the area of phytoplankton ecology and Marine Biology.

Clovis Teixeira was very important as a leader in the Oceanographic Institute of USP, since he contributed very much to build up the institution. But his work was not only limited to one institution. His vision and knowledge contributed very much to the development of oceanography in Brazil since he was, for several periods, collaborating with the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq) and FINEP, PROANTAR and the Brazilian Navy to organise and evaluate oceanographic institutions in Brazil. Since he was a rigorous research worker, his evaluation and critical analysis was of great help in this field.

He had many students at MsC and Ph.D. levels, all of them actively engaged in oceanographic research in Brazil, some leading research in oceanography and plankton ecology.

He published approximately 100 papers, two books and gave several conferences and seminars in Brazil and other countries. He received the Medal of the Brazilian Government for Scientific Merit in 1998 and other distinctions from national organizations such as CNPq and FINEP; the Brazilian Navy awarded him the Tamandaré Medal for relevant services to oceanography in Brazil.

Professor Clovis Teixeira was one of the founding fathers for ecological and oceanographic research work in Brazil. We have all stood on his broad shoulders to see further, and to look into the future.

Clovis Teixeira is survived by his wife Maria Aparecida, son Clovis Alberto, daughters Claudia Maria and Claudete Maria, and two grandsons, Leonardo and Thales.

José Galizia Tundisi
São Carlos, February, 2011

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