Longtime University of Kansas professor Larry Martin dies after illness

LAWRENCE, Kan. - A longtime professor at the University of Kansas passed away over the weekend.

Larry Martin died Saturday, March 9, after a long illness. He was 69.

Martin had served as a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a curator of invertebrate paleontology at KU since 1972. 

"The University of Kansas and the discipline of paleontology have lost a great voice," KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said. "Larry Martin's contributions to his field cannot be overstated, and he leaves a vast legacy both in his students and in his research. On behalf of the entire KU community, I offer the deepest condolences to his loved ones and colleagues."

He authored more than 170 scientific papers in the most prestigious journals and books, and he was the recipient of numerous research grants.

"Larry's research expertise and interests were enormous," Leonard Krishtalka, director of the Biodiversity Institute, said. "Ranging from the evolution and behavior of dinosaurs, extinct sea monsters and fossil birds, to the anatomy and history of saber-toothed cats, to the changing environments of North America during the past 30 million years and how animals adapted to those changes. KU's program in paleontology is consistently ranked among the top three in the nation, in no small measure due to Martin, who, for 40 years, established the university as the best of the best in research and education in paleobiology."

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