Famed oceanographer Jeffrey B. Graham dies


Jeffrey B. Graham, a research physiologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, died of cancer at his home in San Diego on Dec. 8. He was 70 years old.

For nearly 50 years, Graham’s research focused on the evolution, comparative physiology and biology of fish, with special interests in fish respiration and locomotion.

Born in Portsmouth, VA, he received a B.A. degree in zoology in 1964, and an M.S. degree in biology in 1967 from San Diego State University. He received a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1970. Graham served on the scientific staff of the Smithsonian Institution and was a professor of zoology at SDSU prior to joining Scripps.

Graham was still conducting research at the time of his death.

At Scripps, he served as director of the Marine Biology Research Division and as associate director of the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine. He also served

as executive director of Birch Aquarium at Scripps from 2000 to 2002. During his tenure, the aquarium opened the Lynne and Howard Robbins Shark Reef. He also was responsible for introducing the “Secrets of the Seahorse” exhibit in 2002. In addition, Graham started the aquarium’s monthly public lecture series, which was renamed the Jeffrey B. Graham Perspectives on Ocean Science to honor him in 2002.

On Nov. 17 Graham was honored by nearly 200 colleagues, friends and family in a day-long event at Scripps Oceanography.

Graham is survived by his wife, Rosemarie; son Jeffrey, Jr. (Nancy); and daughters Wendy (Brian) and Erin; five grandchildren, Tate, Hailey, Nolan, Dylan and Melanie; brothers Doug and Barry; and sister Diana.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Birch Aquarium at Scripps in memory of Jeff Graham.