I’m sad to report that Charley Lambert has died suddenly from a stroke.
I co-authored a paper with Charley, and his wife, Gretchen, after a busy weekend of data collection at South Padre Island. I was lucky enough that they were able to fit in a stop in Texas to travel plans as they were on their way to Florida, if I remember right. They got their before me, and I met Charley and Gretchen on a dock where they had just pulled up a rope loaded with tunicates and were busily photographing it.
I remember Charley saying that weekend that you should never throw away any writing. He said he had one paper where he wanted to speculate on the ascidians that might have been attached to the hull of the early explorers. One editor hated it and made him take it out. But he kept it, and got it into another paper later.
I met him once more at the Tunicate meeting in Santa Barbara in 2005 (group photo at right; I think Charley is two down from me, on a 4 o’clock diagonal), and I remember him making the entire room laugh during his presentation. I wish I could remember the joke exactly, but the gist of it was that he had reached a point of not worrying too much about what other people thought.
He might not have cared that I thought it, but I thought Charley was a lovely guy, active and full of a sense of humour.
Additional: Finally found a much better picture of Charley that I’d taken during their visit here in August 2004. A photo gallery of Charley is here.
Lambert G, Faulkes Z, Lambert CC, Scofield VL. 2005. Ascidians of South Padre Island, Texas, with a key to species. The Texas Journal of Science 57(3): 251-262.