William Coffman, chironomid authority, 1942-2013
Published On: 2/11/2013
William Coffman, authority on chironomids, 1942-2013
Bill Coffman was a long-time member of NABS/SFS and encouraged all of his graduate students to attend the annual meetings. He often commented to his students and anyone who would listen that “if you sample a water body and the predominant residents were not midges, you probably didn’t look hard enough”. He was a strong advocate for collections of relatively easily identified Chironomidae pupal exuviae. During these SFS meetings, Bill would bring along a microscope to share his newly discovered midges with other chironomid experts like Sam Roback, Ole Saether, Jim Sublette, Bill Beck, and Laverne Curry. These “sharing sessions” were the predecessor to the annual Taxonomic Fair held at current SFS meetings. Fred Benfield noted that Bill Coffman usually wore a blue blazer to the NABS meetings and always looked “dressed-up” at the very casual meetings. Bill Coffman’s life-long work has been honored by having a genus of midges named after him (Coffmania) and a species named Robackia coffmanii.
His collection of slide-mounted pupal Chironomidae numbered more than 100,000 and included large numbers of undescribed species from North and South America. His slide collection, as well as his detailed notes and drawings now reside with the La Selva Biological Station of the Organization for Tropical Studies in Costa Rica. This extensive collection is available for researchers working on Chironomidae throughout the world.
Dr. William P. Coffman died on Friday, January 25th, 2013 at the age of 71. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Paulette, his daughters Kendal Kadylak and Mara McManus , and his son Dr. Stephan Coffman.
Written by David Wartinbee, Kenai Peninsula College
- Making Waves Podcast Episode 26: Carbon Fates, Dr. Erin Hotchkiss more
- Fall 2017 Issue of In the Drift now available! more
- September 2017 Issue of Freshwater Science now online more
- Does Cultural Diversity Matter to Scientific Societies? Read the President's Environment more
- SFS Student Presentation Awards! more
- In the drift just fell into your sampler! The Spring 2015 Newsletter is here! more
- Making Waves Podcast Episode 14: Nitrogen Fixation in a Warming World, Dr. Jill Welter more
The deadline to submit proposals for AQUATROP Special Sessions or Symposiums is now November 17, 2017.more
SFS joins CASS in condemning silencing of EPA scientistsmore
Andy Leidolf appointed as SFS Executive Director
VOTING CLOSED - SFS LOGO CONTEST VOTE!
Over 60 logos were submitted by 28 individuals and narrowed to 3 finalists. Now is your chance to select the winner.more
SFS signs two letters sent to the US EPA regarding the Trump Administration's proposed revisions to the Waters of the US rule