Susan Lynn Williams: The Life of an Exceptional Scholar, Leader, and Friend (1951–2018)


William C. Dennison, University of Maryland Center for Environmental ScienceFollow
Matthew E.S. Bracken, University of California, Irvine
Maria Brown, NOAA/NOS/ONMS Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
John F. Bruno, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
James T. Carlton, Williams-Mystic
Robert C. Carpenter, California State University, Northridge
Tim J.B. Carruthers, The Water Institute of the Gulf
Megan N. Dethier, Friday Harbor Laboratories
Carlos M. Duarte, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Thomas R. Fisher, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
James W. Fourqurean, Florida International University
Richard K. Grosberg, University of California, Davis
Leila J. Hamdan, University of Southern MississippiFollow
Ken L. Heck, University of South Alabama
Dan J. Howard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
A. Randall Hughes, Northeastern University
Brent B. Hughes, University of California, Santa Cruz
Gary A. Kendrick, The University of Western Australia
W. Judson Kenworthy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Frank Mars, Mars Incorporated
C. Peter McRoy, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Rosamond L. Naylor, Stanford University
Bruce Nyden
John C. Ogden, University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Suzanne Olyarnik, Bodega Marine Reserve
Robert J. Orth, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Frederick T. Short, University of New Hampshire Durham
Cascade J.B. Sorte, University of California, Irvine
John J. Stachowicz, University of California, Davis
Donald R. Strong, Bodega Marine Laboratory
Christine Sur, Bodega Marine Laboratory
Michelle Waycott, The University of Adelaide

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Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory


Ocean Science and Engineering


Susan Lynn Williams (1951–2018) was an exceptional marine ecologist whose research focused broadly on the ecology of benthic nearshore environments dominated by seagrasses, seaweeds, and coral reefs. She took an empirical approach founded in techniques of physiological ecology. Susan was committed to applying her research results to ocean management through outreach to decision-makers and resource managers. Susan’s career included research throughout the USA in tropical, temperate, and polar regions, but she specialized in tropical marine ecology. Susan’s scholarship, leadership, and friendship touched many people, leading to this multi-authored paper. Susan’s scholarship was multi-faceted, and she excelled in scientific discovery, integration of scientific results, application of science for conservation, and teaching, especially as a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Susan served in a variety of leadership positions throughout her career. She embodied all facets of leadership; leading by example, listening to others, committing to the “long haul,” maintaining trust, and creating a platform for all to shine. Susan was an important role model for women in science. Susan was also a loyal friend, maintaining friendships for many decades. Susan loved cooking and entertaining with friends. This paper provides an overview of the accomplishments of Susan in the broad categories of scholarship, leadership, and friendship.

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Estuaries and Coasts





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