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Wally Clark (zoologist)

Walter Clive Clark (22 October 1927 – 21 November 2019) was a New Zealand zoologist who specialised in the study of nematodes and pycnogonids. He was a professor at Massey University and later the University of Canterbury.

Wally Clark
Walter Clive Clark

(1927-10-22)22 October 1927
Christchurch, New Zealand
Died21 November 2019(2019-11-21) (aged 92)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Alma materImperial College, London
Scientific career
InstitutionsDepartment of Scientific and Industrial Research
Massey University
University of Canterbury
ThesisSystematic and morphological studies on some Enoplida Nematoda, with special reference to the soil fauna of New Zealand (1961)
Doctoral advisorsBernard Peters
Charles Potter
Doctoral studentsGregor Yeates

Early life, family, and educationEdit

Born in Christchurch on 22 October 1927, Clark was the son of Clive Harold Clark and Ellen Martha Clark (née Baldwin).[1] He had his early education at Bruce Bay, where his academic potential was first recognised, before moving back to Christchurch about the end of 1942.[2] Clark later studied at Canterbury University College, graduating MSc with first-class honours in 1957.[1][3] He was an assistant lecturer in biology at Christchurch Teachers' College from 1954 to 1955 and an assistant lecturer in zoology at Canterbury from 1956 to 1957.[1] He was then a principal scientific officer in nematology in the entomology division of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) in Nelson from 1957 to 1964.[1] The DSIR supported Clark to undertook doctoral studies, and he completed a PhD at Imperial College London, supervised by Bernard Peters and Charles Potter, in 1961.[4] The title of his doctoral thesis was Systematic and morphological studies on some Enoplida Nematoda, with special reference to the soil fauna of New Zealand.[4]

In 1958, Clark married Gwenda Bellamy Goodman,[1] and the couple went on to have five children.[5]

Academic careerEdit

Clark was appointed professor of zoology at Massey University in 1964, but in 1967 he returned to Department of Zoology at the University of Canterbury as a reader (equivalent to associate professor).[1] He rose to the rank of professor and also served as head of department.[6] His main research interests were nematodes and pycnogonids.[1] On his retirement from Canterbury in 1988, Clark was conferred the title of professor emeritus.[7]

Among the research students supervised by Clark was Gregor Yeates, who completed his PhD on the ecology of nematodes in sand dunes in 1968.[8]

Later life and deathEdit

In retirement, Clark lived in the small town of Woodend. His first wife died in 1999,[9] and he later remarried, to Clover.[5] He died on 21 November 2019.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Petersen, G.C., ed. (1971). Who's Who in New Zealand (10th ed.). Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed. p. 113.
  2. ^ Pullar, A.A. (1990). Wilderness Days in Bruce Bay. Christchurch: A.A. Pullar. p. 95. ISBN 0-473-01003-8.
  3. ^ "NZ university graduates 1870–1961: Ca–Cl". Shadows of Time. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b Systematic and morphological studies on some Enoplida Nematoda, with special reference to the soil fauna of New Zealand (PDF) (PhD). Imperial College London. 1961.
  5. ^ a b c "Walter Clark death notice". The Press. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  6. ^ Warne, Kennedy (November–December 2011). "Pegasus rising". New Zealand Geographic (112). Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Professores emeriti". Calendar 06 (PDF). Christchurch: University of Canterbury. 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Dr Gregor Yeates (born 1944 – 6 August 2012)" (PDF). School of Biological Sciences Newsletter (241). University of Canterbury. 13 August 2012. p. 2. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Cemeteries database". Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 30 November 2019.