Robert K. Josephson


Robert JosephsonRobert K. Josephson passed Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, at his home in Laguna Beach following a three-month battle with lymphoma.

Josephson was emeritus professor of biology at University of California, Irvine. He was 81 years old.

Born in Somerville, Mass., in 1934, he attended Tufts as an undergraduate and earned his Ph.D at UCLA. He had appointments at University of Minnesota and Case Western Reserve University before his position at UCI, where he worked for 34 years prior to retirement.

Josephson’s curiosity and love of biology took him on adventures around the world. In addition to splitting his time between Woods Hole, where he was affiliated with the marine biology laboratory, and Laguna Beach, he lived and worked on four continents and traveled frequently. From chasing synchronous-flashing fireflies in the mangrove swamps of Malaysia to doing research on cicadas in Sri Lanka and Australia; from snorkeling in Micronesia to biking around Europe, Josephson took advantage of every opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural world.

He remained healthy and active until his illness, enjoying travel, birding, hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing. His passion for nature led him to become one of the first docents of the Laguna Greenbelt.

He is survived by his wife Trudy Josephson; children with his late wife Virginia Josephson, Beth Josephson (Ochs) of Falmouth, Mass.; Sue Josephson Giordano of Winter Park, Fla.; Eric Josephson of Stow, Mass.; his stepson Scott Grossman of Woodinville, Wash.; seven grandchildren and one step grandchild.

A celebration of life event is pending.

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