Riley, Gordon Arthur
Gordon Arthur Riley, oceanographer (b at Webb City, Mo 11 June 1911; d at Halifax 7 Oct 1985). A pioneer of quantitative biological oceanography, Riley became director of Dalhousie's Institute of Oceanography (later dept of oceanography) in 1965 and a fellow of the RSC. Originally an embryologist, he began graduate work at Yale in 1934 and then, influenced by the ecologist G.E. Hutchinson, switched to limnology. His work at sea, based at Yale and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, began in 1937. Riley used experimental methods and statistics to determine the causes of biological processes in the sea. In the 1940s he began to use differential equations, beginning quantitative modelling in biological oceanography. Later he worked on regional oceanography, transport and mixing, and particles in seawater, showing the same originality that had characterized his earlier work. At Dalhousie, Riley built a school of oceanography whose graduates work throughout N America.