Bill (Oliver William) Heal, 1934-2021

Bill was a key figure in the establishment of ECN, the UK's LTER network
Bill (Oliver William) Heal, 1934-2021

Bill Heal

We were saddened to learn recently of the death in January this year of Prof. Bill Heal. Bill was instrumental in setting up the UK's Environmental Change Network, securing substantial funding from the Natural Environment Research Council for both ECN and the TIGER programme.

"Bill was, in many ways, the father of ECN"
- John Adamson, former Site Manager, ECN Moor House

Bill did his PhD on protozoa at Moor House NNR (an ECN site) and went on to coordinate the International Biological Programme (IBP) research there in the 1960s and '70s. He was an advocate of multidisciplinary research, developed many international collaborations and was much respected for his research, both in the UK and elsewhere. He will be greatly missed.

The Guardian newspaper recently published an obituary of Bill that describes more of his life and work, including his research in the Arctic. The ECN are team are grateful to our colleagues Des Thompson and Tim Burt for writing this tribute to an influential figure in  ecosystem research.