[MARMAM] NSU Mourns the loss of Dr. Ed Keith

Caryn Self-Sullivan cselfsullivan at sirenian.org
Wed Sep 19 18:05:17 PDT 2012

Edward O. Keith, Ph.D., associate professor at Nova Southeastern University's (NSU) Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences and Oceanographic Center, passed away on Friday, September 14, 2012 at the age of 60. Keith, who taught classes on human nutrition, clinical chemistry and biology, died of carcinoid cancer of the liver, lung, stomach and bone at South Miami Hospital.

"Ed has had a profound impact on many people and much of our community," said Don Rosenblum, Ph.D., dean of the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences. "He has been with NSU since 1986 and was an esteemed and valued member of our faculty. He will be dearly missed."

Keith's principal interests included the biology, conservation, ecology, evolution, and physiology of marine mammals including whales, dolphins, and manatees. His research of marine mammals and vertebrate ecology focused on long-term studies of Florida manatees; conducting interdisciplinary studies of current issues in marine mammalogy, including the development of a technological solution to the problem of manatee mortality from vessel strikes; examining the abiotic and biotic factors associated with marine mammal strandings in Florida and the southeastern United States; and collaborating on conservation projects for Antillean manatees in Mexico and Panama.

"Dr. Keith was a seasoned educator and communicator," said Dick Dodge, Ph.D., dean of NSU's Oceanographic Center. "He had a passion for study and understanding of the ecology and biology of marine mammals. His hard work, gregarious nature, team spirit, and student focus made a significant difference at NSU and the Oceanographic Center. He will be very sorely missed."

"Ed was a tremendous chair of NSU's IRB showing a special knack for balancing the safety of our research participants with the quality of the science conducted at the university," said Ronald J. Chenail, Ph.D., vice president for Institutional Effectiveness. "He was also one of the most student-centered faculty members I ever knew. He involved both graduate and undergraduate students in his research providing them with significant field and bench research experiences. You can see wonderful examples of this dedication by the number of President's Faculty Research Development Awards he received in which students served as his co-investigators."

Keith began working at the university as a faculty member in the College of Medical Sciences before transitioning to the Oceanographic Center and Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences as a full-time joint faculty member. He held his B.S. and M.S. from Colorado State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of California–Santa Cruz. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, his mother, and his two younger sisters. A viewing for Keith will be held this Thursday, Sept. 20 from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Boyd Panciera, 6400 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, FL. A memorial service will follow on Friday at 4:00 p.m. at the Words of Life Fellowship Church, 20051 NE 16th Ave., North Miami Beach.
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