He coined the term “keystone species.” I dedicated my book to him. Look how many great scientists he helped create. It’s a science career deserving of the greatest honor.

MASTER OF THE STARFISH. For over 50 years Bob Paine has studied the intertidal ecosystems of Tatoosh Island off the coast of the Olympic Penninsula in Washington. There is no one in the world like him.

ALL IN THE FAMILY. Second branch up on the left is my Ph.D. advisor Ken Sebens. I was his first graduate student. Not sure I’m worthy of such amazing company. What a crowd.



Bob Paine is the best. I was lucky enough to be his field assistant for a summer, working on Tatoosh Island, when I was an undergraduate at University of Washington. Nature just published an article with his academic genealogy tree. He is turning 80 this spring. A truly amazing person.

As I said in the dedication of my book, he taught me not only ocean science, he made it fun. He really did. He’s a tremendous storyteller and thus part of the source of my obsession with the power and importance of story.

A truly great storyteller who is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Now THAT is a career for ALL scientists to aspire to.