Obituary: Professor Robert Kidd

Professor Robert Kidd was a leading figure in the hugely successful international programme exploring the world's oceans by deep drilling. This programme involves 19 countries and has been responsible for some of the most important developments in understanding the evolution of our planet.

Kidd became involved in the International Deep Sea Drilling Programme as a post-doctoral fellow at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in California from 1973 to 1975, where he carried out the first synthesis on sediment distributions in a developing ocean through time. He was involved in ocean drilling science from then on. He participated in five drilling expeditions, on three of which he was co-chief scientist, as well as many other geological oceanographic studies.

Some of the outstanding results from this research include recognition of anoxic events (periods of large-scale stagnation) in the Mediterranean and the first plan-view studies of large-scale sedimentary features in the North Atlantic using side-scan sonar. His personal studies on the history of ocean circulation, sediment drift and high resolution stratigraphy are widely acclaimed.

Kidd's commitment to the exploration of the deep ocean through drilling, along with his passionate belief in the worth of the data collected, was paramount for more than two decades. He obtained his PhD in 1973 working in the Tyrrhenian Sea. His early work included research on bottom current control on sedimentation (how ocean currents control and move sediment) and hydro-thermal formation of seamount micronodules (sea-mount is an old volcano sunk beneath the sea, on which manganese oxide nodules form over a long period of time). His academic career took him from a full Professor of Oceanography at Texas A & M University to a Chair of Geology at the University of Wales Cardiff in 1989.

At Texas he was charged with putting in place procedures for pre-cruise planning, shipboard organisation, and post-cruise activities and publications. He also developed the state- of-the-art shipboard and share-based laboratories for the great ship of the Joint Oceanographic Institution's Deep Exploration of the Sea, JOIDES Resolution.

At Swansea, Kidd organised the merger of the Geology and Oceanography Departments to become the Department of Earth Sciences, prior to the University Grants Committee Earth Sciences Review. On transferring to Cardiff he established the Cardiff Marine Geosciences Research Group, one of the most active seagoing geological and geophysical groups in Britain.

His international stature and management skills were recognised by his Chairmanship of the Site Survey Panel for cruises of the JOIDES Resolution from 1989 to 1993, and most recently by becoming chair of the JOIDES Planning Committee 1994 to 1996. He headed the first JOIDES office to be established outside the United States at the University of Wales Cardiff.

There was no more dedicated individual to the cause of ensuring that marine geoscientists in the United Kingdom have access to the priceless Ocean Drilling Programme (ODP) resource. Kidd worked tirelessly to promote and support ODP science. Recently, British participation in this programme was called into question. Kidd gave outstanding presentations on the excitement and novelty of Ocean Drilling science to various review committees and the Natural Environment Research Council. It is now clear that British involvement is safe and that Rob Kidd deserves the accolades of the scientific community for the central role he has played.

On 4 June he was awarded the Major John Sachervell A'Deane Coke Medal by the Geological Society of London. This is awarded to those who show both excellence as scientists and have made in various ways major contributions to the community. No one better illustrated the attributes of a Coke medallist than Rob Kidd for his outstanding achievements in research and altruism on behalf of marine geosciences.

Robert Benjamin Kidd, marine geoscientist: born Milford Haven 17 September 1947; FGS 1967; Principal Scientific Officer, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences, Wormley 1973-84; Visiting Scientist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California 1973-75; Professor of Geology and Head of Department of Earth Sciences, University of Wales Swansea 1986-89; Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Wales Cardiff 1989- 96; Professor of Oceanography and Head of Science Operations of the Ocean Drilling Program, Texas A & M University 1984-86; married 1970 Rosalie Daye (four sons); died London 9 June 1996.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam