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Terence Peter (Terry) Scoffin, 1941-2002

Terry Scoffin, who died on 23 November 2002 aged 61 after a long illness, was a renowned geologist in the field of reef science, in particular the connections between geology and active reef processes.

Born in Selby, Terry was educated at Bournemouth School and was awarded a Bournemouth Borough Entrance Scholarship in 1959. He then obtained his BSc (Hons) degree at University College of Swansea, and remained there to complete his PhD on the sedimentology of the Wenlock Limestone in 1965. Terry then moved to the University of Liverpool as a post-doctoral Fellow and began his studies of modern shallow-water carbonate sedimentation.

In 1967 Terry was appointed lecturer in the Geology Department, University of Edinburgh where he remained until his early retirement in 1995. Throughout this period Terry studied both ancient and modern carbonate environments, concentrating principally upon the latter. His research covered a large number of tropical reef locations and, in 1973 he participated in a five month Royal Society Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef.

Terry published 80 research papers and a textbook on carbonate sediments and rocks. He won two "best paper of the year" awards: first (1970) for his paper on the composition, structure and erodability of algal mats in the Bahamas (Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists) and second (1992), for his review of the taphonomy of coral reefs (International Society for Reef Studies). He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and held visiting Professorships in Calgary, Bergen and University of West Indies. He was appointed Reader at University of Edinburgh in 1982, and Honorary research Fellow in 1998.

Terry always had an interest in sport, including SCUBA diving, as well as a passion for both listening to and playing music, particularly jazz.

He is survived by his son Patrick and his partner Pauline. Terry made a major contribution to reef science and will be missed by his many friends and colleagues.

Larry Thomas