Richard Dell

Last updated
Richard Dell
Born11 July 1920
Auckland, New Zealand
Died6 March 2002 (2002-03-07) (aged 81)
Wellington, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Alma mater Victoria University of Wellington
Known forWork on Mollusca of the Chatham Islands and the Antarctic
Spouse(s) Miriam Matthews (1946-2002; his death)
Scientific career
Fields Malacology
Institutions Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Richard Kenneth Dell QSO (11 July 1920 – 6 March 2002) was a New Zealand malacologist.

Contents

Biography

Dell was born in Auckland in 1920. As a young boy, he took an interest in shells, collecting them from the shores of Waitematā Harbour. He even managed to start a "museum" in his backyard. He also helped curate the Auckland War Memorial Museum shell collection. [1]

Dell studied at Mount Albert Grammar School and later at the Auckland University College. He took a teacher’s course at Auckland Teachers' College, but World War II delayed his plans to become a teacher. He joined the New Zealand Artillery, serving on Nissan Island, the Solomon Islands, in the Middle East, Egypt, and Italy. He later published several papers on the land snails he had collected in the Solomon Islands. [1]

After the war, Dell was offered a job as malacologist at the Dominion Museum, where he started to standardise the cabinets and built up a collection of more than 30,000 specimens. In the meantime, he took a master's degree in Science at Victoria University of Wellington, with a pioneering thesis on cephalopods, octopuses and squid.

His breakthrough came with the Chatham Islands Expedition of 1954. The results were published in 1956 as The Archibenthal Mollusca of New Zealand, which was a major contribution to the knowledge of molluscan fauna in the bathyal zone of New Zealand waters. This publication earned him a Doctorate in Science in 1956.[ citation needed ]

Soon after, Dell started to work on Antarctic collections, with among others Alan Beu and Winston Ponder. In 1964 he published a major monograph on the Antarctic bivalves, chitons and scaphopods.[ citation needed ]

Dell became first Assistant Director in 1961 and later in 1966, Director of the Dominion Museum, which would become the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. He retired in 1980, and started writing again. In 1990 he published his standard work Antarctic Mollusca with special reference to the Fauna of the Ross Sea. Dell published more than 150 papers on Mollusca (marine, terrestrial and freshwater), crabs and birds. He also made a major contribution to the Antarctic biogeography.[ citation needed ]

Honours and awards

In the 1981 New Year Honours, Dell was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for public services. [2] In 1977, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, and in 1990 he received the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal. [3] He was an honoured member of many scientific societies and committees. He won prizes and medals in New Zealand and abroad, including the Hamilton Prize in 1955, and the Hector Medal in 1965, both awarded by the Royal Society of New Zealand. [3] He has named many new species of molluscs and several new crustaceans.

Death

Dell died in 2002, after a long illness, in Wellington. He was survived by his wife Miriam Dell, who he had married in 1946. [1]

Selected publications

In scientific journals 
Other publications

Taxa named by R.K. Dell

Apart from having named numerous species in the Mollusca and some in the Crustacea, he has also established a number of new genera :

Taxa named in honour of R.K. Dell [4]

Related Research Articles

<i>Sigapatella</i> genus of molluscs

Sigapatella is a genus of small to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Calyptraeidae, the slipper snails, Chinese hat snails, and cup-and-saucer snails.

Alcithoe wilsonae is a species of rare large sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Volutidae, the volutes.

<i>Penion sulcatus</i> species of mollusc

Penion sulcatus is a species of medium-to-large predatory marine snail or whelk, commonly called the northern siphon whelk or kākara nui in Māori, belonging to the true whelk family Buccinidae.

<i>Penion</i> genus of molluscs

Penion is a genus of large marine snails, commonly known as siphon whelks, classified within the mollusc family Buccinidae, the true whelks.

<i>Antarctoneptunea benthicola</i> species of mollusc

Antarctoneptunea benthicola is a species of small-to-medium-sized predatory sea snail or whelk, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.

<i>Cominella</i> genus of molluscs

Cominella is a genus of carnivorous sea snails, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.

<i>Aeneator</i> (gastropod) genus of molluscs

Aeneator is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.

Winston F. Ponder is a noted malacologist from New Zealand who has named and described many marine and freshwater animals, especially micromolluscs. He graduated with an MSc, PhD and DSc from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Pleurotomella expeditionis is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Raphitomidae.

Nepotilla powelli is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Raphitomidae.

Splendrillia benthicola is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Drilliidae.

Splendrillia jacula is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Drilliidae.

Splendrillia runcinata is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Drilliidae.

<i>Marshallena</i> genus of molluscs

Marshallena is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Horaiclavidae.

Antarctoneptunea aurora is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.

Antarctoneptunea is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Buccinidae, the true whelks.

Maoritomella orientalis is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Borsoniidae.

Antiguraleus abernethyi is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Mangeliidae.

Antiguraleus fusiformis is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Mangeliidae.

Antiguraleus pulcherrimus is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Mangeliidae.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Alan Beu, Bruce Marshall and Winston Ponder : Richard Kenneth ('Dick') Dell (1920–2002), obituary, bibliography and list of his taxa; Molluscan Research, 2003, 23, 85–99
  2. "No. 48469". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 31 December 1980. p. 40.
  3. 1 2 Taylor, Alister; Coddington, Deborah (1994). Honoured by the Queen – New Zealand. Auckland: New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa. p. 120. ISBN   0-908578-34-2.
  4. WoRMS: Species with epithet delli

Sources