Brian Glenister (1928–2012)

Brian Glenister, 83, passed away on June 7, 2012. He was a distinguished invertebrate paleontologist and author of numerous published papers. He was the chair of the Geology Department at The University of Iowa from 1968 to 1974, was the A. K. Miller Professor of Geology until 1997, and held an emeritus position following his retirement. He received the Lifetime Education Award at the International Cephalopoda Symposium in 2004. Brian’s crowning work was the completion of the Geological Society of America Treatise on Ammonoidea, which unified geological time in sites all over the world.

Brian was born in Albany, Australia, on September 28, 1928. He had very humble beginnings as a late-in-life child of a large Australian family. His father, who worked on the railroads, died four years after Brian’s birth. Brian was raised by his eldest sister after the family experienced financial problems. He would tell stories of how he had to sleep in the family chicken coup as a kid because his bedroom was rented out to bring in extra money. His mom had great dreams for Brian and despite of his aspirations of being a mailman, made school a priority. Brian excelled in his studies and in 1954 was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to attend The University of Iowa in Geology. Brian ultimately earned a PhD in paleontology from Iowa, where he also met the love of his life, Anne Treloar. They were married on February 16, 1956. The young couple lived in Australia for two years, but gladly returned to Iowa when Brian was offered a faculty position at the University. 

Brian and Anne happily spent the rest of their married life in Iowa City participating in the University community, raising a family, selling orchids from their home and lending their talents to projects like the Devonian Fossil Gorge. They traveled the world on field trips and conferences when they were not enjoying the woods surrounding the home that Anne designed and built on the Coralville Reservoir. Brain was a loving father to Alan, Linda, and Kathryn; grandfather to Megan, Alexa, Madison, Rose, and Harry; and brother to Elma, Marjorie, Jack, and Ailcie. He will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to share his life. He was a cherished husband, father, grandfather, brother, colleague, mentor, and friend.