- © 2017 Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research
On December 20, 2015, Neil E. Tibert, Ph.D., passed away after a short battle with sarcoma, a soft-tissue cancer; he was 49. We had just visited with Neil at the GSA annual meeting in Baltimore in early November, and he looked fit as a fiddle (photo above right). Life took a cruel turn, and we have lost a good soul and a talented micropaleontologist and educator.
Neil grew up on Long Island, Nova Scotia, along the southeastern shores of the Bay of Fundy, where he met and wed his loving wife Lisa. It was in these coastal waters that Neil developed his passion for the sea, but it was working with David Scott and Martin Gibling at Dalhousie University in Halifax where he learned to be a geologist and a micropaleontologist on his way to earning BS (1994) and MS (1996) degrees. Neil published three important papers on Late Paleozoic coal-bearing and marginal marine facies based on ostracods and agglutinated foraminifera.
In 1996, Neil moved his family to western Massachusetts so that he could pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, which he completed in 2002. He then moved to a tenure-track position at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 2003, where he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the time of his passing.
Neil was a field geologist and a darn good one. Whether taking sediment cores, digging in the mud, or chopping through mudrocks and shale, Neil loved being in the field or on the water. His doctoral research focused on Upper Cretaceous marginal marine depositional systems of the Western Interior Seaway. Neil and RML collected many stratigraphic sections across the Colorado Plateau, particularly in southern Utah, with RML serving as Neil’s field assistant. He published …