BIO-info (en)

Remembering Glenn

Glenn A. Bristow passed away 11 March in Viet Nam. Glenn was born in 1944 in Connecticut, USA, and had a long and adventurous career before entering the academia. He was in the USA navy between 1964 and 1970 as crew on a submarine, he worked on a fishing boat, and he was bartender in Hawaii. He took his Masters of Science in zoology in 1983, and came to Norway and the University of Bergen around 1985. In 1991 he defended his Dr scient thesis in parasitology and became Associate Professor in 1992, where he always worked closely together with Professor (now Emeritus) Bjørn Berland. After Glenn retired he never hesitated and eagerly started afresh to work at the University of Nha Trang, Viet Nam. Here he stayed and worked as a highly valued teacher until illness struck last year.

Glenn’s main research interest was the systematics and development of parasites, especially fish parasites. However, he felt free to explore interests in any direction, and was also very interested in philosophy of science: in 1997 he edited a book together with Roger Strand (University of Bergen) called “Naturvitere filosoferer”. The many interests he had are quite visible on Facebook, with links to friends and collaborators all over the world.

Nonetheless, the sea always drew him back. He was in Bergen when the Norwegian fish farming adventure started up, and he saw the importance of considering the impact of the parasites that always accompany intensification in animal production. In the years before and after he retired Glenn engaged himself much in international work and collaboration, with research and teaching at universities in Malaysia and Viet Nam. Glenn saw the parallels in the national importance of aquaculture to both Norway and Viet Nam. He therefore put a lot of effort in ensuring that some of the ideas underpinning industrialized sustainable aquaculture could be transferred from Norway to Viet Nam. He also helped to establish a strong scientific connection between the University of Bergen and the University of Nha Trang, Viet Nam, with exchange of students and staff.

He had many interests and in particular he liked music, food, other cultures and the sea. He was impossible to ignore while alive, and the best of him will live on for a long time. He had two children whom he was very proud of and who live in Bergen, and our thoughts go to them.

For kollegaer ved Institutt for biologi,

Henrik Glenner, Kjersti Sjøtun, Hans Tore Rapp, Karin Pittman, Egil Karlsbakk


6 comments for “Remembering Glenn

  1. Greg DeLong
    March 21, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    a great childhood neighbor and friend, thanks for sharing.

  2. Gary
    March 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    RIP Glenn, my friend. You have earned your rest.

  3. Cindy Esposito-Czeciuk
    April 20, 2016 at 1:09 am

    I am sorry to hear the sad news. I never met Glenn, but he was a cousin of mine. He helped me find out a lot of information of my family in Connecticut. A few years ago he told me that he would be going to Maine, USA for a vacation, and he would try to stop here in New Hampshire to meet me…but something happened and he never made the trip to the United States. May he rest in peace..

  4. May 9, 2016 at 4:57 am

    Email with Glenn the past year was spotty. After long delays, his name would finally pop up in my in box. He would tell me he had been ill, promise to get some work back to me, and he did. Tonight, as I finished checking the proof for a co-authored paper with Glenn, and fearing the worst, I decided to try again to see if there was any news of Glenn. Sadly, my worst fears were realized.

    Glenn spent a few weeks during some of the last few summers with us in Alaska to study the parasites of Threespine Stickleback. I knew practically nothing about parasites, and Glenn’s passion for them frequently added excitement to our mealtime conversations. Glenn took great pleasure one day when I finally spotted the tiny cestodes he was trying to show me in a stickleback gall bladder. Glenn spent most of his time in Alaska searching through every stickleback organ for parasites. He was too valuable to let out of the lab very often. Adding a new parasite species was always cause for excitement.

    I’m will miss Glenn’s warm friendship, cheerful companionship, and the projects we might have done. I was exceptionally fortunate to have Glenn as a friend the last few years of his life.

  5. David Heins
    May 9, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    My life was better for having known Glenn. He was a wonderful human being and a great taxonomist. I will miss the opportunity to interact with him in the future.

  6. Alan DeLong
    March 21, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Wonderfully talented man of the world.. He certainly never let the dust settle around him.. I just might be a little better having known Glenn and his family all my life. Rest In Peace big brother.

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