Jim Waterhouse

Dear Colleagues,

The ISC Board wishes to share our deepest feelings with the family, friends, and colleagues of Prof. Jim Waterhouse who passed away last week. We reproduce below the message from one of his collaborators and former student, Prof. Ben Edwards:

It is with great sadness that I am to inform you that Prof. Jim waterhouse has died peacefully in his sleep last week. Jim and Liz (his wife) found out just over a month ago he had lung cancer with secondary growths throughout his body – Jim, in typical Jim manner, only let me know (in Jim’s own words) “ ….to offer an explanation of what is likely to be unreliable/non-existent advice I might give in the future!”

Jim was a prolific writer and consummate scientist, always looking for a ‘beautiful yet simplistic design’ in research. In the world of chronobiology he was always a maverick as he was self-taught, taking lead on writing one of the most iconic books (with his friend David Minors) on Circadian rhythms and the human (reading the literature for 2 h a night for 2 years to complete the chapters); when his own boss (Prof. John Norton Mills) died in a mountaineering accident in North Wales in 1977.

I have always been proud and privileged to be referred to as 'one of Jim's PhD boys' (even at the age of 43), and appreciated, as did others the time and patience he showed both colleagues and students. In my last email to Jim I wrote … “I think I speak for a large number of students and colleagues to whom you have enriched their time at University and I would like to thank you for this. I think it is a British thing to not tell people the difference they have made (when they are alive), then it is too late and they are gone - I am glad to say this is a trait I do not adhere to”. So I hope Jim had an idea as to the impact he had made both locally at LJMU, and internationally in the many Universities across the world where he taught.

I will always remember Jim fondly and have based some of my teaching style on his (without the intelligent and brainy bits - but with pictures of things trying to eat me instead). Many students taught by Jim will recall complex physiology concepts with lines like 'and that's why Giraffes will never go to space'. Phrases like “Are you with me…” and, “Are we in agreement..” will forever make me smile, he will be missed and as he had a liking for aged, single malt whisky I will later raise a glass or two to him.

I’m sure our thoughts are with Liz and family.


Nicholas Mrosovsky

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is with deep personal regret that I inform you that Nicholas Mrosovsky, loving husband of Sara Shettleworth, died peacefully on Sunday, February 22, after a long illness. Nicholas Mrosovsky FRSC had been associated with the University of Toronto since 1967 and was Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Zoology (now EEB & CSB) and Physiology. Nicholas was part of the chronobiology research community for over 40 years, as well as pursuing important research endeavours on the environmental physiology and conservation of sea turtles. Nicholas’ contributions to chronobiology included seminal studies on the role of masking by light, mechanisms of circadian photoreception, and nonphotic entrainment of the mammalian clock. He is well known for his impeccable scholarship for which he was awarded a prestigious Killam Fellowship from the Canada Council for the Arts in 1994.

Our hearts go out to Sara and her children.

Martin Ralph


Franz Halberg

On Sunday June 9, 2013, Franz Halberg has passed away. Prof. Halberg was one of the pass presidents of the International Society for Chronobiology. He will be remembered as one of the founders of the field of Chronobiology. His accomplishments are summarized in his over 3,400 scientific publications, in cooperation with colleagues from around the world. He coined the term circadian, after documenting that biologic rhythms tip the scale between health and disease and even between life and death. Many around the world call him their mentor and turned to him for advice, from study design and data analysis to the interpretation of results in the time dimension. His work earned him numerous awards, apart from holding professorships in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Physiology, Biology, Bioengineering and Oral Medicine at the University of Minnesota.

Francesco Portaluppi
President of the International Society for Chronobiology


Erhard Haus

A few moments ago I received the sad news that Erhard Haus has passed away during this week end. All of us have had the opportunity of knowing him, reading with great interest his articles and books, discuss chronobiology with him during all the congresses of our specialty (he missed almost none of them). Those of us who had the additional blessing of having his friendship also whow how deep and warm was his humanity.

On behalf of you all, members of the ISC, I have already expressed to Erhard's family the feelings of loss and sorrow we are experiencing today.

I am asking our Secretary Prof. Hermida to post this sad communication on the ISC website, to make all colleagues aware of such unfortunate event and to spread our sincerest condolences to all colleagues.

For the same purpose, I am also inviting Professors Reinberg, Touitou and Smolensky to prepare an obituary that will be published in Chronobiology International as soon as possible.

Francesco Portaluppi
President of the International Society for Chronobiology


Ludger Rensing

Ludger Rensing, former Editor-in-Chief of Chronobiology International and active member of the Society, has passed away Monday, March 11, 2013, at the age of 80 years. All of us who have had the opportunity of knowing him, appreciating his scientific contributions, taking advantage of the years of continuous service he has assured to the our community of researchers, and last -but not least- his gifts of deep and warm humanity. The Board Members of the ISC, in the name of the Society, express our deepest condolences and sympathy to his family, friends, and colleagues.


Israel Ashkenazi

On the night of October 21, our dear Israel Ashkenazi passed away. The sorrow for this event is only marginally relieved by the fact that he was (in the words of his son Odi) "vibrant and vivid until the last few hours"; and let me testify that until the last couple of days he kept enlightening correspondence with people around the world, sharing thoughts, knowledge, and sentiments with colleagues and friends that neither long time lapses or far-off places could separate from him.

Everybody knows that Israel was a great scientist, a pioneer in chronobiology who contributed precious advancements routinedly utilized thereafter by hundreds of researchers. Moreover and more importantly, the results of his lifelong engagement in research lead to important practical knowledge, so that today literally millions of people around the world are taking advantage of his scientific contributions. A time will come soon to remember the Scientist and all the details of his great work.

Today, however, we simply stand still in astonishment and sorrow for the loss of a great man, an incredible number of dear memories passing through our minds, indelible traces he impressed in our hearts and souls with the warmth, understanding and influence of his character.

We are all bidding you farewell, Israel. As for myself, I hope to meet you again one day, because your place in my heart will never be replaced.

Francesco Portaluppi, President of the ISC


Prof. Tom Reilly, of Liverpool John Moores University

Tom was unique.

He was a very private man who was universally respected and admired by all. He was a deeply compassionate and loyal man, profoundly interested in the development of others before himself.  His intellectual powers knew no boundaries, providing deep insights into the worlds of philosophy, literature and the use of English language.  But, outside his family, his passions were science (particularly kinanthropometry-on which he completed writing a textbook in the last week!), Everton, Everton,  Football  in general (many codes but mainly the round ball shape) and Ireland.  He was a voracious reader and writer and his motivation and dedication to acquire and disseminate knowledge appeared endless.

He applied his bountiful energy in the realm of academic leadership, both within and outside this institution.  He was the first ever Professor of Sports Science in the UK, and helped forge the rich heritage of sport and exercise scientific study at Liverpool Polytechnic, LJMU and beyond. As his reputation of excellence grew, his influence extended Nationally and Internationally, leading many initiatives and effecting change in policy and practice in many esteemed organisations.  Perhaps the most profound legacy has been his mentoring of staff and postgraduate students (his self-titled "Liverpool Mafia") that now exert significant ripples of influence across all walks of society, but particularly within HE.  In this way, over the years, he has been responsible for germinating the seeds of our young discipline.

But despite these powerful academic credentials, Tom will remain in my mind as a very warm, intensely caring and very humorous inpidual, whose eye always had a twinkle.

Tim Cable