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Family, Friends Establish Richard Turner Endowed Research Fund in Biological Sciences

The Fund will Support Undergrad Research
on Organismal, Cell, or Molecular Biology

At the end of the spring semester in 2017, Richard L. Turner, Ph.D., retired after 41 years of loyal service to Florida Tech and was named professor emeritus.

Friends and family members have honored his impact on students’ lives and in his field by establishing the Richard Lincoln Turner Endowed Research Fund in Biological Sciences.

Turner was hired in 1976, when Florida Tech was just beginning to build its reputation as a research university. During his long career, he helped to advance the university through his own outstanding research, as well as his teaching and service. He contributed new insights into the biology of starfish, brittle stars and related animals.

“His longstanding passion for understanding echinoderms helped inspire many students,” said Richard Aronson, head of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Along the way, Turner also dug into the ecology of the native apple snail in Florida’s freshwater lakes and ponds. He published regularly in scientific journals, coauthored an undergraduate textbook on marine biology, and was active in the Florida Academy of Sciences, where he held the offices of president, treasurer, and editor of The Florida Scientist. He served on a variety of university committees, most notably as director of undergraduate programs for biological sciences and as a major contributor to the university’s SACS-accreditation effort. As professor emeritus, Turner is now devoting himself to his family but still maintaining a research program.

Turner’s work with the Academy and overall body of excellence in academia across the last four decades helped earn him one of the state’s highest academic honors this year, the Florida Academy of Sciences 2018 Medal. The academy awards one medal annually to a Florida resident who has “contributed in an outstanding manner to the promotion of scientific research, to the stimulation of interest in the sciences, or to the diffusion of scientific knowledge.” Candidates may be research scientists, philanthropists and educators, journalists, science fair coordinators or members of industry, government or other organizations.

The Richard Lincoln Turner Fund will support undergraduate research on organismal, cell, or molecular biology.

“I am delighted that Dick’s impact will continue to be felt forever at Florida Tech as this fund supports generations of student research,” said Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay.

Alumni and friends are welcomed to support this fund by clicking here.

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