Emerson wrote, “To the dull mind nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.” Your mom was a huge beacon and opened my eyes and my mind. I want to do something to keep her memory fresh. I bet there are lots who feel the same.

   Scott Blazis

She was three billion years ahead of her time. So many of us are more evolved organisms because of the mutually beneficial relationships she cultivated all around her.  Great picture of her sweet face.

Annie Thompson

Dorion, this loss is beyond the grasp of any words I can find. The Earth has lost one of its greatest champions ever, humans have lost a passionate, brilliant beacon in this time of gathering darkness, and I have lost a friend and mentor who so embodied and radiated aliveness that I cannot absorb the news; my bone marrow refuses to believe it. And you, dear friend -- I weep for you and with you and Tonio, your shining star of a son. Anything I can do that might be of help, just ask.

Roget Lockard

One item mentioned in this news release that I've known for many years and has always amazed me is the fact that Lynn was a 14 year old college freshman. I don't believe too many can make that claim.

William Solomon

¿Descansar en paz? ¡Imposible! Eso no puede ser.   (Rest in peace? Impossible! No way.)

Carmen Chica, Spain

I am so, so sad to hear your news.  It's said that emotional tears contain elevated levels of prolactin and ACTH—the one associated with motherhood and bonding, and the other with circadian rhythms. Lynn probably could have explained exactly why, when humanity's interconnection and existence in time leaks from our eyes, it tastes like the sea. All I know is that love is lived in time but also beyond it, and grief reconnects us with a place that was the beginning, but has no end.

Katheryn Denning

[E]veryone will say what a magnificent scientist she was…and they are of course right—she was an extremely dynamic and creative thinker. But she was also a lot of fun, which in my book is just as important!

Niles Eldredge

Lynn is on my mind all the time. It is as if, all of a sudden, I lost my beloved sister.  Our sadness is natural, but would it not be more in Lynn's line to rejoice about all she gave? And aren't we lucky to have been close to her?  I am very grateful for your invitation, and wish I could come to-morrow. But such a heavy flash journey would be madness. I rather spend the time writing a letter to you about what Lynn meant to me, and then participate in the 2012 event.

Peter Westbroek, Holland

What a splendid mind and fierce good heart.

Fred Turner

Don’t take her voice answering the phone away – that way, no matter how any of us think, she’s still around.

Bill Huth

I will miss her voice.

James Hallgring

Lynn was a great scientist and a dear friend.  Sorry I can't be at the Gathering, but I'll contribute to the Memorial Fund. I have a paper, the Origins of Chordate Larvae, which I am about to submit for publication.  I shall dedicate it to Lynn.  She dedicated Kingdoms and Domains to me.

Don Williamson, Isle of Man

We have lost a great independent thinker, I wish more scientists were like her.  And maybe she can now get some answers from Emily.

Roald Hoffmann, Nobel laureate and poet

I have just finished a lecture which I devoted entirely to your mother,

this morning. And shall now write an article about Lynn Margulis for our

major cultural newspaper. Symbiosis is semiosis. That could have been a title of her next book. . .Her enthusiasm helps and inspires many. With love

Kalevi Kull, Estonia

It's funny that Menina [Lynn’s beloved dog] is mentioned in the announcement from UMass.

Sonoko Kanai, Switzerland

I am so thrilled that I got to meet you over a dinner in London and to gain a really close working relationship with your mother while she was among us at Oxford in 2009. It was a time of great merriment and great intellectual stimulation—something I shall rejoice in always.

Martin Brasier

What!!! Lynn...? Invincible, irrepressible Lynn??? How? Gosh Dorion, I am so so very sad to hear this news, and am sending a huge hug to you. I cannot believe that Lynn is gone, and so this will have to sink in over the next weeks. But how? I am sending abundant Love, and much solidarity to you and your family --

David Abram

What is not as well known is Lynn’s  educational and political contributions. Here is a quote from a paper she wrote with Thomas Kunz in 1984 (BioScience): “In 1983 NACIC-NASEX (North American Cuban Scientific Exchange) was established to encourage communication among scholars with mutual scientific interests, especially in the biological and biomedical sciences.” Lynn was a key partner in this project, and as a result has been attacked by the opponents of the Cuban revolution for her efforts.  She was never afraid of proposing and courageously standing for controversial views.  Recently Lynn Margulis wrote the following: "The 9/11 tragedy is the most successful and most perverse publicity stunt in the history of public relations.  I arrive at this conclusion largely as the result of the research and clear writing by David Ray Griffin in his fabulous books about 9/11. …Whoever is responsible for bringing to grizzly fruition this new false-flag operation, which has been used to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as unprecedented assaults on research, education, and civil liberties, must be perversely proud of their efficient handiwork...I suggest that those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous official account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new, thorough, and impartial investigation be undertaken." 

David Schwartzman

I have warm memories of Lynn, her brilliance and lucid passion blended with a sublime sense of the spiritual. I would not have written except that I noticed that no one has so far taken note of Lynn's 9/11 skepticism expressed in a review of David Ray Griffin's book questioning the official version of this event. Since David is a close friend, and I share some of his skepticism (without his knowledge), I thought it of some value to exhibit this side of Lynn's temperament, iconoclastic, interrogating the conventional and official wisdom of the day, and contributing to the role of public reason in a free society. With warm greetings to all,

Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University

The scientific world, including the 9/11 Truth Community – she was a member of Scientists for 9/11 Truth—has lost one of our noblest, most courageous fighters for the Earth and the Truth.

David Ray Griffin

I learned a great deal from Lynn and really enjoyed hanging out with her, wandering around the redwoods near my house, where while we were gazing at the cathedrals high above Lynn was looking down at the trunks of the trees for a special termite that dwelt therein, or at her dinner table in Amherst where I made an epic blunder.  I mentioned something about parasites.  Lynn turned to me and sternly said, “we don’t use that word in this house.”  That anecdote has become almost classical in my life.  I have used it and Lynn’s recognized authority to entertain and enlighten people on natural history field trips that I lead. . .

Charlie Fisher

Today, the world has lost an incredible force.

Today, the planet has gained one back.

To the woman that showed me our true place upon this

Great Earth

and taught me how I could tease secrets from Her,

That opened my eyes to the living world for the




My gratitude will follow me and fill all of my actions;

in each step;

in each breath;

She has shown beyond doubt that the actions of biology are geologic forces,

For she has changed the world around us all.

Goodbye, and thank you,

Lynn Margulis;

You are gone back to Gaia.

Alex Salhany

You will not know me, but I was the Master of Balliol at the time when your mother was Eastman Professor at Balliol and at Oxford University.  I therefore write to say how shocked I am to have heard of your mother's sudden death and how very sad I am.  It would be ridiculous to say that I knew Lynn well, but I knew her from the very start of her time here as I was a member of the Appointments Committee for the Eastman.  As a result I was well aware of—and full of admiration for—her originality and, even more so, of her willingness to think the unthinkable and to be willing to stick by her views against fierce opposition if she felt she was right.  The academic world badly needs people like her.  Indeed without such people there is a danger that we become mere cyphers. …  I don't like mission statements, but I have sometimes said that, if Balliol were ever to be forced to have one, it should be "the promotion of heresies"! … my personal sympathy and that of the College.

Andrew Graham, Master of Balliol

A giant of biology has left us. Through her co-creation of the Gaia Hypothesis, and her work on endosymbiotic theory. . .I had the pleasure of knowing Lynn for most of my life.  Both Dorion and I had parents involved in the Bostonian scientific community, and we became fast friends at an early age, so I also got to experience some of Lynn’s style of mind-nurturing. She was awfully busy, and not always around, but occasional outings to places like science museums were thrilling. She spoke to kids as if they could understand adult concepts, which they generally can, and I still remember puzzling over something she said about metabolism when I was, oh probably 10.  Later I learned how actively she mentored scores of grad students.  Now a vast army of her former students, many of whom also consider her an invaluable friend, populates the halls of biology and exobiology.

David Grinspoon

May her spirit shine on through her tremendous contributions to science. I will never forget her generosity to all she met.

Joy Stocke

She was a wonderful, brilliant woman and will continue to live through her erudite writings and memorable discoveries. She is truly one of the immortals.

Elizabeth Macduffie

She was an amazing person, a brilliant scholar, and her effect on the Earth will be lasting.

Bill Davis

I always smile when I think of her rebelliously intelligent mischief. It is truly a gift that you were there with her, and she had peace.  A sad loss for you and the world.  May her next incarnation be as candescent as her heart and mind was in this one. I just watched her lecture about Puffer's Pond a month ago and I will never look at it the same way again, nor will the planet be looked at the same again for the millions who followed her disciplined divine path. Condolences my brother.

Connolly Ryan

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much she indirectly helped my life by her support of Tone in all that he's done with music. She was a great person.

Jason Weeks

I only met her once, but she was utterly unforgettable—charming, warm, so pretty, and possessed of a rare gaiety of spirit.

Dave Reney, Paris

Lynn could be pretty wild.  Sometimes it was vexing, but I loved her for it.  She revolutionized our view of the living world, pushing on one door after another, behind each of which flourishes, still, an alternate and to some, unthinkable conception of biology and evolution.  As it's turning out, many of these doors lead to astonishing realities, others to pure imagination, but each rewards any who enter with a great intellectual challenge.  Whether chatting or cooking with Lynn, you would find yourself being led to and through one after another of these doors.  It was great fun.  I think there were many recent critics of her later hypotheses who clearly did not grasp the rules of the game. We will all miss her something terrific.

Les Kaufman

It was only last week that I communicated with Lynn. She was very excited about the Puffers Pond bryozoans.  I am truly fortunate to have walked in her shadow.

                                                               John Stolz

I have soooo many fond memories of your mother.... including the heuvos rancheros she would fix me and that time I jumped in her car to pick her up at the airport and Janice Joplin came blaring on the car stereo - with a partially eaten turkey drumstick on the dash.

Karl John

What I admired most about Lynn Margulis was her bold willingness to always take a step back in order to encompass the wider context, the bigger picture.  Then an even bigger context, and so on.

David Brin

My favorite memory of Lynn in the few times I had the opportunity to spend time with her: Sitting in the Upaya Zen Center zendo two years ago, during the morning meditation period, prior to the start of the meeting for which we were both there. Lynn was sitting to my right on her cushion. Throughout the sitting period i heard her murmuring to herself. Afterward, i asked her: "Were you reciting a mantra?" She said: "Kind of. I was reciting poems by Emily Dickinson."

Neil Theise

When we pass on,

think only this of us:

we lived alert

to the rapids and breaks

of the heart’s cascade -

its loud blood

percusive music

in our ears,

as we encountered rocks,

marking our passage

in a broken open time.

    William Irwin Thompson

I admired her for many years from her writings and from hearsay. I was very fortunate to meet her two years ago. At a dinner party, I witnessed her defend the Gaia hypothesis against what another biologist present had said in print. She had the unfortunate person cornered; she was able to quote, word for word from memory, what he'd said, and she was very intent on having him see why it was wrong. I must say that when I witnessed this conversation I was reminded of the accounts written of Galileo when he came to Rome, in which he is described as defending the Copernican hypothesis at dinner parties in the houses of the great families there. I saw in her the same confidence in her vision, together with impatience at those who can't think as openly or as broadly but instead choose to misunderstand the new ideas. I've thought for many years that we as yet barely understand the implications of Darwin's discovery that we evolved via natural selection. I'm sure that Lynn Margulis has seen further than most what this means for our view of the natural world and our relationship to it.

Lee Smolin

We are truly sorry to hear about the death of Professor Lynn Margulis,  who was most respected and esteemed here in St. Petersburg by all evolutionary biologists and historians of the discipline.  She was a truly great and courageous scholar with unyielding moral and scientific convictions. Her contribution to advancement of evolutionary biology and science popularization, her role in promoting academic communication across national borders will always remain in the history of science. Please, accept our most sincere condolences.

Eduard Kolchinsky and colleagues

St. Petersburg branch of the Institute for the History of Science and Technology

Russian Academy of Sciences

                                                The Lady of the Cells

                                                She played her ideas like musical instruments,

                                                A symphony of complex thought

                                                From the trumpets of observation

                                                In counterpoint to the violins of fancy.

                                                It was hard to follow her sometimes

                                                If I hadn’t had enough coffee yet.

                                                Hard to bring my brain cells in line with hers

                                                Like responsive flutes to her percussion,

                                                But the music always emerged.

                                                Sharp eyes, sharp wit,

                                                But with an almost sleepy delivery

                                                From the wispy tendrils of minute packets of life

                                                To the grand footprint of a planetary being

                                                Nothing was out of scale,

                                                Everything was fair game,

                                                The quarry of questions always afoot,

                                                Staccato talk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

                                                And she could make a mean lasagna.

                                                Not to be persuaded lightly

                                                And following the driving dynamo at her core,

                                                For one sparkling moment in time

                                                There was her.

                                                Farewell Cell Mother,

                                                Off on your final sabbatical,

                                                The next great adventure

                                                To give your molecules back to the Earth

                                                For her to create more Life from you.

Penny Boston

Dear Lichenologists,

You have probably heard the sad news: Lynn Margulis passed away last November 22nd.  She taught many times about Symbiosis and Symbiogenesis as important mechanisms in evolutionary innovation of life at the University of Valencia, where she was distinguished as Doctor Honoris Causa.  She was deeply keen in lichen symbiosis, asking me whenever about progress in this field, promoting that new research in lichen photobionts and bacteria was a necessity. She wished to write a review of the "Lichens of North America" and "Lichen Flora of Greater Sonoran desert Region" books in the journal BioScience, just trying to popularize lichens. We got an endearing friendship and shared the organization of the International Congress "Gaia 2000" on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the University of Valencia. I am indebted to her for so much intellectual encouraging.

Prof. Dr. Eva Barreno

Biología Evolutiva

Diversidad Vegetal y Ecofisiología

Universitat de València, Spain

I first met Lynn at the University of Chicago when we were both students there.  I  enjoyed her brilliant mind and her zest for life ever since. She was a fine person in so many respects. It is impossible to believe that she is gone.

I send deepest sympathy to her family, especially her engaging, gifted children.

Toby Owen

Guillermo and I were so sorry to hear the news about Lynn. She was an incredible force, no one could ignore her. We enjoyed so much her first visit to RWU and our own follow ups in Amherst. We saw her during the ECOP meeting in Berlin this past summer. We were able to talk for a few minutes several times. As always, she was charming, kind and made us think. We will miss her!

Avelina Espinosa PhD

Department of Biology

Roger Williams University

It is really very sad indeed to hear this. I did not think it would be the last time I see Lynn when we met in Balliol this spring, in the bar, and had a brief drink together. Life is truly ephemeral. I feel very lucky to have had some good moments with Lynn while she was here in Oxford. And the flame she ignited in me about symbiogenesis will not die with her.

Elisabeth Hsu


Oxford University

What a terrible shock. Please convey my sincerest condolences to Lynn's family, friends, students and colleagues. This is a tragic loss for science and for culture but I'm sure the value of her work will be recognised as increasingly significant. I'm very grateful for the privilege of meeting her and I've asked contacts at the BBC to run the radio programme we made again as a tribute. Lynn will continue to be a warm and generous voice describing an inspirational way of seeing the world and herself a wonderful inspiration to me and very many people. 

Dr Paul Evans

BBC Radio

Just received the sad news.  Lynn occupies such a special and important place in my life and mind, and this at so many levels. 

Abe Gomel

I'm sorry to hear about this sad news. You could easily tell Lynn was a great scientist who bent head over heels for what she loved the most, her research. I'll never forget those stew dinners and those engaging conversations.

Justin Chin

Lynn's vision and tenacity will be sorely missed. 

Brian Henning

Gonzaga University

I feel such deep gratitude to have a few days with Lynn and to have seen many of the faces from the lab just over a week ago.  Warmth to you as you engage with these feelings.  They're coming to me as grief often comes; in waves of emotion.  I'm deeply committed to carrying on Lynn's work.  I'm not a scientist, but am happy to offer whatever skills I have as a writer, communicator, teacher, speaker, and organizer.

Andre Khalil

This is a very sad news. It is only a few months ago that Lynn joined our European Congress of Protistology in Berlin where she presented the opening lecture. I well remember her energy and enthusiasm. I cannot believe that her life stopped so abruptly. I will keep her in my mind forever.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Renate Radek

Free University of Berlin

Institute of Biology/Zoology

My deepest condolences and sympathy  on the death of Lynn Margulis. She was a towering evolutionary scientist and her creative science will be a lasting memory of her innovative thinking and great discoveries.


Eviatar Nevo

Foreign Associate National Academy of Sciences, USA

Director International Graduate Center of Evolution

University of Haifa

Thank you for informing me about Lynn, its extremely sad, just a few weeks ago we discussed the nukleolinus at my home here in Oslo. She has been my friend and the most inspiring scientist I have ever known for more than 35

years.  Hope her work will continue in some way, I will keep in contact with you and others in the Margulis lab. I will finish to complete the work Lynn intended to do regarding the research here.

C. Morten M. Laane

Professor, Dr.phil. FRMS

(Molecular Biosciences)

University of Oslo, Norway

I had not heard...  I shared the email with my husband who took 2 courses with her in the early 90's.  She was an inspiration to us both.  We've lost a tremendously influential scholar and an amazing woman.

Our warmest regards.

Sally Rosen

Science Dept.

Newton South High School

I have read the information about a sudden death of Professor Lynn Margulis with great sorrow.  I never met Professor Margulis but had a hope to meet Her in Krakow on Symbiosis Congress next year. I planned to attend Her lecture with students of biology knowing only her theories, specially endosymbiosis but also Gaia concept from the books.  She was one of the great scientists having a great influence on how we understand life and interactions between organisms on the earth.  It is a great loss of a person whose work and personality contributed so much to science. We will sorely miss her.   “Let’s be in hurry to love people and to show them our love as they pass away so suddenly and unexpectedly” -  Jan Twardowski

Elżbieta Kuta

Department of Plant Cytology and Embryology

Jagiellonian University

Kraków, Poland

Truly a loss that cannot be measured;  Lynn was a monumental intellect.  I know how close you were, and our thoughts are with you.

Clayton B. Cook, Ph. D.

Affiliate Research Professor

Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University

Thank you for letting me know about Lynn Margulis.  Your email was my first notice of her passing….

"Emily Dickinson always has the last word."   -Lynn Margulis


#445                                'Twas just this time, this year, I died.

                                             I knew I heard the Corn-

                                         When I was carried by the Farms

                                             It had the Tassels on--


                                         I thought how yellow it would look-

                                             When Richard went to mill-

                                         And then, I wanted to get out,

                                              But something held my will.


                                         I thought just how Red--Apples wedged

                                              The stubble's Joints between--

                                         And the Carts stooping round the fields

                                               To take the Pumpkins in--


                                         I wondered which would miss me, least,

                                               And when Thanksgiving, came,

                                         If Father'd multiply the plates--

                                                To make an even Sum--


                                         And would it blur the Christmas glee

                                                 My stocking hung too high

                                         For any Santa Claus to reach

                                                 The Altitude of me-


                                         But this sort, grieved myself,

                                                  And so, I thought the other way,

                                          How just this time, some perfect year--

                                                  Themself, should come to me―

Ann Ferguson

Having heard about Lynn´s death  makes me very sad indeed! The age  of 73 is far from enough for such an important person.  She became a great female and scientific 'raw-model' for me already  in the early 70´ties - when I heard her at Uppsala University give  one of the most inspiring and enthusiastic talks I ever heard since,  on the endosymbiotic theory and the evolution of eukaryotes.  I fully agree that she should rather be described as a most  courageous person - perhaps, and only perhaps, not always totally correct - but who is? That is not the point.  She took up the and developed and promoted the endosymbiotic theory  (in the 60’s) - a theory introduced by Russian scientist Mereshkowsky already in 1900. Lynn made this theory come alive again  in at a period when we for the first time were able to use molecular techniques. And ever since, the evidence favouring the  endosymbiont theory has been repeatedly verified over and over again.  Indeed the term 'courageous' is most suitable to describe her  personality and her scientific achievements - in particular in view  of the fact that she advocated a theory that critizised all  contemporary scientists leaving out the 3 billion year of evolution that proceeded that of the metazoans. On top of this, the fact that  she was a woman, must have 'irritated' men of her generation (and later), which eventually found out that she was (more-or-less)  correct.

A great loss to science, to symbiosis and not least to all female scientists trying to make their voices heard.

Birgitta Bergman

Professor in Plant Physiology

Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Department of Botany, Stockholm University


She was a genius, and I count it an honor that I saw her at BU once. 

Nathan Phillips,

Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Sciences

Boston University

I take a fair amount of pride in being able to say that I knew her personally. Her BU course Environmental Evolution was the most influential biology course I ever took, creating a real paradigm shift in my understanding of the importance of bacteria in all aspects of life.

Joe Martinez

Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology

She was inspirational-- what a contributor to the world of science.

Pam Pelletier,

Head of Science

Boston Public Schools

I have met Lynn Margulis at several conferences but I had no personal relationship with her. Nevertheless, I fell kind of in shock because she always was my biggest hero…

Professor Monika Bright

University of Vienna

Lynn Margulis was much more than "just" a prominent scientist, even for those who have never had a chance to meet her in person. Many thoughts come to my mind - the moment, when I heard for the first time of her (many yeras ago) and immediately got fascinated, all my lectures on various topics in which I had to mention her important contributions, etc., etc. - various things hard to express in my clumsy English. Still, I find some comfort knowing that she has left successors...

January Weiner

Professor of Ecology

Jagiellonian University,

Krakow, Poland

I was so sorry to hear about Lynn Margulis' death.  I always talk about her with my students, and am so glad that I was able to learn from her in person at the Microcosmos teacher workshops as well as Symbiosis conferences.  My favorite story that I tell the students is that we were working on individual projects in the Microcosmos class, and Lynn was talking to a student from Spain about microbial action under anaerobic conditions in deep landfills.  He was apparently not grasping something, so she said, "Would you be more comfortable if we spoke in Spanish?" and then she just switched!  It is good to remind the students that there is symbiosis among subjects (such as foreign languages and science) as well as just in biology!

Phyllis Appler

Alvirne High School

Hudson NH

I was thinking of the many souvenirs we have here in Torino where Professor Margulis came for  a NATO meeting (1987) and then for another hold in Bellagio (1989).  In the mean time, I have forwarded your message to the students of mine who followed some of my courses many years ago, where the central core was coming from her inspiring book Symbiosis in Cell Evolution.

Paola Bonfante

Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale dell'Università

Viale Mattioli 25 - 10125 Torino

This news was bound to make me reflect about life and ideas. And how ideas, whilst not immortal, can certainly outlive us. Memes, which take on a life of their own, subject to different evolutionary principles than organic life, but principles nevertheless. The ones that fit our minds best survive.  Lynn did not create SET, but she certainly nurtured it and championed it. And this idea, this meme, has proven resilient.  I suppose successful memes acquire temporary immortality (that is a contradiction for you) when they become accepted as “truth”.  And whether we admit to it or not, that is what we in research and teaching strive to. Discovery, synthesis, explanation, perpetuation. And maybe this is driven by our desire for immortality. Like Icarus.


Pietro Spanu


I am so, so sorry to hear about Lynn.  She certainly lived a full life, and was truly a force of nature, enlivening the world with her enthusiasm, engagement, and curiosity - scientifically and personally.  Lynn truly did "change the textbooks" and the world around her, and she will be deeply missed.


Colleen Cavanaugh

As you probably know, Lynn and I were long-term friends and colleagues.  As you write, she was one of the great scientists of the second half of the 20thcentury, full of wonderfully imaginative ideas.  And in addition she was a very caring friend.  She will be greatly missed.


Dan Botkin

Professor (Emeritus)

Dept. of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology

University of California, Santa Barbara 


The Center for the Study of the Environment

A nonprofit research and educational organization


Lynn was one of my mentors in graduate school-I met her in 1978 when I got to BU.  She is the reason I stayed on and continued in academics.  Outside academics, she taught me that to be kind, humble, caring, giving and passionate are greater qualities than all the academic accolades.  She was magnificent in the classroom and a challenging and brilliant intellectual who never made us feel inferior but invited us to "think with her".  She made my wife and me a quilt for our wedding in 1982 with the different groups of fungi depicted on it (I love fungi).  It is always a reminder to me of Lynn Margulis a dear friend, and genuine person.  She is now "one with the greater system" to which we all belong ......

Michael San Francisco, PhD

Associate VP Research

Professor, Biological Sciences

Texas Tech University

She was truly one of a kind, and a great friend and teacher.

John Rummel

Sad news.  Although I did not know Lynn well, her ideas often come to mind. She was a pioneer and was always supportive of our work.  A favorite memory was Lynn's response to someone at a lecture who asked how mankind can "save the planet."  She said, "if the Earth could sing a song to us it would be, 'Got along without you before I met you, gonna get along without you now!'" - the lyrics to a popular song from the sixties.  To me,  it was a humbling reminder of humanities' place in the scale of things, and exemplified Lynn's feistiness, insight and humor.  She'll be missed.

Jim Metzner, Executive Producer

Lynn was, indeed, among the greatest American scientists, but she also was the most loyal and insightful of friends. I met Lynn in 1970, when I was a seriously underperforming undergraduate student at Boston University. I needed a summer job, and got it into my head to knock on faculty members' doors in Biology and see if I could find a job. I began knocking, wearing my usual overalls, long and unkempt hair and beard, and pathetic transcript loaded with C's and D's.

After being quickly refused and dismissed at every door, I finally found myself at Lynn's office door, expecting the same rejection. But no; she dragged me into her office, and spent most of that afternoon passionately and enthusiastically introducing me to microbes and protists. She pulled out old articles by LR Cleveland about the magnificent termite gut symbionts, and the work of then-obscure Russian protozoologists describing the most bizarre organisms imaginable. I didn't understand more than 5% of what she was saying, but was hooked on her passion. And to my great surprise she gave me a summer job, and let me loose in her lab to do real research. With her support, I went on to publish 3 papers as an undergraduate, my grades picked up, and a career as an Entomologist followed.

Lynn has received almost every kudos science and society have to offer, but it's her faith in her students that remains to me as her most lasting legacy. I had the pleasure of introducing Lynn at a lecture once, and called her my fairy godmother. I think that's about it: she reached out and touched so many of us with her magic wand, turning what looked like toads into princes with her unwavering confidence and support that we could be more, way more, than we thought we could be.

Mark L. Winston, FRSC

Academic Director and Fellow, Centre for Dialogue

Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre 

Vancouver, B.C.

I met Lynn at my father Hans Ris' memorial in April 2005.  They adored each other and I quickly came to adore Lynn as well.

Christopher Ris

This is a terrible loss to all of us, and especially to Lynn's family: to them -- please rest in the knowledge that you had a life with one of the great humans I have known.  Lynn was not only one of my favorite scientists and thinkers I have known, but a compassionate, humble, and encouraging teacher and mentor.  When I decided to move into the area of geobiology, several people recommended that I contact Lynn (late 1970s), and she took me as a total outsider, and encouraged me to change fields.  She introduced me to several key people, invited me to conferences, and asked me to join her in teaching a NASA summer course in "Planetary Biology and Microbial Ecology".  Through her encouragement and enthusiasm I learned to think about, and work in, about an entire new world, where I have been causing trouble (to emulate my mentor, Lynn!) for nearly 40 years.  Reading the messages from others, I see that this is a general pattern in Lynn's MO -- and one to be honored.  It is hard to know the number of people (and careers) she has touched in such positive ways.  I will miss her terribly, and trips to Amherst will just not be the same without Lynn's warm smile waiting there.  It is a pity we will not have her to challenge the system with her cutting-edge (often whacky!) ideas that so often turn out to be correct.  Personally, I am devastated -- for the scientific community I share the loss of a great colleague, and for her family I send my best and warmest wishes, and thanks for sharing her with us.

Ken Nealson

Wrigley Professor of Environmental Sciences

University of Southern California

What a shock! I'm so sad to hear this. Too long since Lynn and I had been in touch, and now it's too late.  But what a legacy! One of our best and most fearless scientists. We'll miss her fierce and independent voice for ... everything she believed in.

Peter Brown

I am so very sorry about Lynn.   I was lucky enough to have met her a year ago in Denver and those few minutes of sitting next to her and her schooling ME in spanish were eye-opening and inspiring to say the least.  Since then I'd been thinking of ways in which I could sneak in and sit in on some of her lectures.  Sad that won't be a possibility now.  You are very lucky to have known her so closely for as long as you did and she was lucky to have had you as a student also.  As you say, her legacy will live on in the thousands if not more whose lives she influenced and in those who she will continue to inspire through her work.


Yadi Ibarra

I really admired Lynn and loved our short interaction that culminated with a lovely paper on the symbionats in the Cockroach that were Bacillus cereus  And could produce patterns.

I feel very sad over the loss.

Rivka Rudner,

Prof. Emmerita

I was a student during the Spring 09' semester, course Biology 597 G.  I wanted to send my condolence to the team and to Professor Margulis's Family.  Professor Margulis and her class had a great influence on my current profession.  I am forever grateful to had have the opportunity to be able to take that course and to have learned not only content but life lessons, through conversations with Professor Margulis and the team.


Julia Andrews

Dear friends & family,

   Distinguished University (of Massachusetts) Professor and my long time advisor - of more than eight years since taking her course 'Environmental Evolution' as an undergraduate - Lynn Margulis passed away after suffering a severe stroke. This was indeed sudden, as Lynn was full of energy, as usual, right up until the hour of her stroke. After initially being treated at Worcester Medical, it was decided by her family, based on Lynn's explicit living will, that she be taken home to die in peace. It was just that: peaceful. Surrounded by family and her favorite classical music, the sun beat through Lynn's bedroom window onto her beautiful face as she lay in a deep sleep. I was lucky enough to have seen her the day before she passed, and was able to thank her for myself and those of her students who didn't have the chance to say it themselves. It was a difficult moment, but one that I'll cherish forever. Her body was cremated and scattered along one of her favorite research areas, close to her home.

   To say Lynn affected thousands and contributed significantly to science is a gross understatement. Countless graduate students of hers have gone on to tenured professorships where her ideas and teaching style have been - and continue to be - perpetuated through them. Her lasting legacy will assuredly be her contributions to evolutionary biology and to the Gaia Theory.  She was a unique, inspirational polymath who may never be equaled again. She took a scientific approach to everything - from symbiogenesis to environmental evolution to whether HIV caused AIDS to the events of 9/11 - and always quoted David Bohm telling us that "science was the search for the truth, whether we liked it or not". 

   Lynn's two greatest scientific contributions, endosymbioses leading to the evolution of eukaryotes and the Gaia Theory, changed the way in which we understood the natural world and the ways in which we taught our students. Lynn resurrected the early 20th century ideas of Merezhkovsky and Wallin and developed the modern theory of endosymbiosis, essentially the process by which nucleated cells evolved from prokaryotic, or bacterial cells. Considering four out the five kingdoms of life are comprised of one or more eukaryotic cells, including us animals, her ideas are fundamental to understanding the evolution of all non-bacterial life. And Lynn had plenty of ideas regarding bacterial life as well, as her theories involved species of bacteria forming consortia that led to the evolution of the first nucleated cells (eukaryotes). She developed the Gaia Hypothesis, now called the Gaia Theory, with James Lovelock. The Gaia Theory, in part, states that the Earth is a "cybernetic system with homeorhetic tendencies" due to the origin of life and the co-evolution of life and the Earth. 

   Lynn was a decorated scientist: The Presidential Medal of Science; The William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement; The National Academy of Sciences; The Russian Academy of Sciences; The Darwin-Wallace Medal; and too many honorary doctorates, life achievement awards, and distinguished teaching awards to list. She has made many "top something" lists regarding the most influential scientists, and even people, of the 20th century. Her papers, and even personal notes, are archived in the Library of Congress. She was an evolutionist, a biologist, a geologist, a microbiologist, a swimmer, an eager astrology student, a mother, a grandmother,  a biker, a teacher, a mentor, an inspiration, and a friend. She was the single most influential person in my life besides my parents and my wife. In fact, it was my wife who said, as my recently "appointed" girlfriend at the time, "let's take her sounds really interesting." It was. So were the eight years I spent with her following that semester. Interesting. Life-changing.

   I will miss my dear friend and mentor, as will thousands of people whose life she influenced. She will never be replaced. I will dedicate my career to perpetuating her ideas and teaching style, as I'm sure the aforementioned thousands will as well; that's what she would have wanted. The scientific community and indeed the world at large lost one of its great inspirations and wells of knowledge, but she has been returned to the Earth that she cared so deeply about.

"That it will never come again is what makes life sweet." - Emily Dickson (Lynn's favorite poet and next door neighbor)

Sean Faulkner, current Geosciences PhD graduate student

Yes, she did have a soft spot for we underachieving punks! I'm a big believer in legacies, and I learned from Lynn to keep an eye out for those underachievers, and I hope I continue to honour her memory in that way.  What a great story; mine is almost exactly the same.  My family is still shocked (but of course proud) that Lynn was able to transform me from underachieving punk to Ph.D. student.  I will indeed always remember Lynn for the same reasons you do, for her unconditional love and support of her students.  Thanks for sharing.

Mark L. Winston, FRSC

Academic Director and Fellow, Centre for Dialogue

Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre 

Vancouver, B.C.

[W]hat about the Margulis lab, wish I could do something, a wall is out in our life. Lynn was always there, also helping me  many times a lot when I had difficult times here. I keep her in my heart and will try my best to work along her ideas.  I have been very, very sad, and think  about her and her family. Wish also that its a future for The Margulis Labs research.  I got in contact with Lynn in 1967 when my professor Jostein Goksoyr told me (I was a student at the University of Bergen) that he had met in US a remarkable person who had published a paper in J.Theoret. Biology about orgins of mitosis. He told her that I worked with mitosis in Penicillium, the fungus, and that the institute was mad about the green spores contaminating even the smoke-filled lunch room, he hoped I would change to another topic. Rainy Bergen was excellent for growing fungi, and Lynn encouraged me to continue research. I finally finished my thesis which very few except Lynn understood. I might have given up, but Lynn was so enthusiastic, always. Many times it was fun too. She was giving a talk in the inland city of Kongsberg, famous for the old silver mines there.  A not so nice geologist shaked his head several times, did obviously not respect her or like any of her ideas and talk. In fact he disturbed the audience. After a time also obviously did not follow her talk. Then Lynn suddenly, very loud asked him to come up help her calculating something regarding the atmosphere on the planet Venus.  No one dared to sleep the next day, Lynn gave a stunning and excellent talk, and the geologist apologized for his behaviour.

Her last paper summarizing her work with the most recent ideas, only two printing pages for Nature was almost finished here. She intended to submit it on Tuesday, sadly enough the day she died. I will try to find out what is right to do and need advice too.  It has a beautiful illustration of the nuclear cycle in Physarum, looks to me now as a piece of modern art too, I hired our scientific artist here to make it, and it was finished on the Thursday before Lynn got ill, according to her comments. 


Morten Laane



I can hardly express how sad this news is to me. What a great loss, she was nor only great American scientist, she was simply great scientist for the entire world.I hope you will be able to continue her legacy and carry on research she initiated.  Please accept my sincere condolences.

Piotr Kossobudzki, MSc

Deputy Managing Director

Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanitie

Thank you for sending me the sad news about Lynn's death. She was such an incredibly vital person that it is hard to believe she is gone. I bear her huge debts, not only for general inspiration but for much hard editorial work she did on my ECOLOGY: A POCKET GUIDE manuscript. I persuaded the Univ. of Calif. Press to bring MICROCOSMOS back into print, and I hope that in due time she will be properly recognized as one of the greatest scientific thinkers of our time.

Ernest Callenbach

University of California Berkeley


It's been a great lost...i'm still very shocked and I can't believe she is gone....but I keep remembering moments shared with her and I can't help but smile...

Dr. Laura Villanueva

Research scientist

Dep. Marine Organic Biogeochemistry

Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

The Netherlands


We note the passing this past week of the remarkable scientist Lynn Margulis.  Described by the Washington Post  as “a rebel within the realm of science.”  Scientific American posts: “ Lynn Margulis was among the most creative challengers of mainstream Darwinian thinking of the late 20th century.”


[from  Publishers Weekly]

“Lynn Margulis, who created Chelsea Green's Sciencewriters Books imprint along with her son, Dorion Sagan, in 2006, died on November 22 at the age of 73. Chelsea Green has published eight books in the Sciencewriters Books imprint, including three authored or co-authored by Margulis: Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love; Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature (with Dorion Sagan); and Mind, Life and Universe: Conversations with Great Scientists of our Time (with Eduardo Punset). Margulis was the author, editor, or coauthor of chapters in more than forty books. At the time of her death, Margulis was distinguished university professor in the department of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She received the 1999 National Medal of Science from Bill Clinton and, in 2008, she received the Darwin-Wallace Medal, given every 50 years by the Linnean Society of London.”

We are honored to have Lynn Margulis published on all three of our lists, MIT, Harvard and Yale.


The MIT Press

Chimeras and Consciousness
Evolution of the Sensory Self  Edited by Lynn Margulis, Celeste A. Asikainen and Wolfgang E. Krumbein
April 2011  Scientists elucidate the astounding collective sensory capacity of Earth and its evolution through time.

Contributor to Scientists Debate Gaia, Editor

Environmental Evolution 2nd ed.  Editor

Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation 

Harvard University Press


Symbiogenesis: A New Principle of Evolution

Boris Mikhaylovich Kozo-Polyansky ,Victor Fet , edited by Lynn Margulis

June 2010

Yale University Press

Origins of Sex Three Billion Years of Genetic Recombination
Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan
September 1990


Patricia Nelson

Harvard University Press

Yale University Press

The MIT Press


Needless to say, I am deeply saddened by Lynn's death.  As a priest who also has had to contend with the hypocrisies of institutions at the expense of truth, I always felt a deep connection to her, and can only mourn her passing.  The world just isn't the same.  I must also confess how I am quite convinced that when I get to whatever "gate" there is, Lynn will be standing there, wagging her finger at me and saying -- no doubt as vindication of symbiogenesis -- "I told you so." 

Chris Carlisle

Would you please email me pdfs of Lynn's latest work (last 5 to 7 years), especially on Gaia and symbiosis, or send hard copies if that is easier. I would like to be up to speed with her work for the March Symposium. If you are too busy, which I completely understand, please email or send me her most recent CV.


Eileen Crist

Department of Science and Technology in Society

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA 


I was shocked and truly saddened when I received your email.  I greatly appreciated Lynn as a person and as as scientist and her visits to HF were always delightful.  Please extend my sympathy to everyone in the lab and let me know if there plans for memorials.


John O'Keefe

Harvard Forest

Petersham, MA

I was devastated by this news. No matter how many obits and tributes I read, I cannot believe that Lynn is gone.

I can only say I feel privileged to have known her. And it seems impossible that she is no longer with us.

But one thing is certain: she had a very full life despite dying at such a (relatively) young age.


I am deeply saddened by this tragic news.  It was such a joy for me to meet and be able to spend time with Dr. Margulis on the occasion of our USDA Symposium here.  I also had the pleasure to dine with her and a few other folks the evening after the seminar.  I and the other symposium organizers were looking forward to Lynn's participating in our 2012 Symposium next autumn.  Lynn was so full of life, an original thinking, and she was so energetic and thrilled by the complexities of the natural world.  We all have suffered a great loss.  Please convey my sincere condolences to Lynn's family. 


Robert E. Davis

Research Leader, Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory

USDA-Agricultural research Service

Beltsville, MD

I enjoyed a brief acquaintance with Lynn years ago when she wrote the foreword to our book Cloning the Buddha. She was a fascinating, feisty woman and I am sorry to hear of her passing.  Warm condolences to her family,


Sharron Dorr


I'm shocked and deeply saddened by Lynn's sudden death. Thank you for sending this message, sorrowful as it is. My condolences to her family and all her lab mates. 


Cardy Raper

Research Assoc. Prof. Emerita

Microbiol. & Molec. Genetics 

University of Vermont


It was sad to hear the news.  I truly adored her.  I can only imagine how you all in Lynn's daily life will miss her.  You are all in my thoughts.

"We may have to learn again the mystery of the garden: how its external characteristics model the heart itself, and how the soul is a garden enclosed, our own perpetual paradise where we can be refreshed and restored."      Thomas Moore

Christine Bates


We were shocked and so very sorry to hear of Lynn’s passing. She will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues.

Jim & Sandy Lovelock

We are shocked by the newss, as is the whole scientific community of the world, although all we knew signaled a fatal end. We were so much looking forward to see Lynn in Sao Paulo in mid-December... Please convey our condolences to Lynn´s family. We will miss her deeply.

Prof. Dr. Víctor Ariel Gallardo, Ph. D., M.M.A.
Departamento de Oceanografía
Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanograficas
Investigador Asociado Centro de Biotecnología
Universidad de Concepción

Dear Dorion

I was dismayed to hear the news of your mother's death on 22 November.   She was a good friend over more years than I care to remember, and I acutely feel her loss.   There is not much that outsiders can say or do on such occasions except to send deepest sympathy at this horrid time for you and the family. 

Sir Crispin Tickell

I only heard of Lynn's death via a friend very early this morning. She was such an inspiration and fount of knowledge for me that the unexpected news hit me like a body-blow...  My wife and I were with Lynn at her home for such a few short days in 1997 but she left a deep and lasting impression on both of us. I had been corresponding with her for only a year or so before that visit, yet she overwhelmed us with her hospitality. There was I, an unknown nobody, yet she gave so freely of her time, her knowledge and advice that I was bedazzled by her warmth and generosity.   As for her science, it was like running into a catherine wheel of glittering ideas. For me, Lynn was utterly inspirational! That brief visit and our subsequent correspondence has remained a pivotal factor in my understanding of life and its evolution.

Reg Morrison

40 Daly Street, 

Bilgola Plateau, NSW


Gosh, Celeste, we were saddened to hear about this unfortunate news.

Lynn was an incredible woman, and her drive and focus to pursue her science was admirable and inspirational.  Most of us only dream to contribute a fraction to science of what she was able to contribute through her career.  It's unfortunate that the world has lost this great woman.  Our condolences also directly to you--as her right-hand woman your job was certainly not 9-5, and she was obviously a great friend and mentor for you.


Mark, Olga, and family

I am so saddened by this news. Lynn is truly one of my heroes!  Bless you all there who are nearest to her and her passing.


Kurt Grimm, Associate Professor

UBC Earth & Ocean Sciences


I was very shocked and saddened by Lynn's unexpected death.  She was a transformative figure in microbiology and will be missed by many.


James T. Staley, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Microbiology

Editor, BISMiS Bulletin

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

I am so very sad to hear this news.  As you know, Lynn was a big influence in my life and was very kind to me over the years.  I thought of her often, referred to her and her work often and we had hoped to see her again before we wind up our time in Virginia (we're moving to CO next year).  I had done a presentation just a couple nights ago at American University on the implications of Gaia Theory for peace (to a peace studies class) and we had a big conversation about Lynn...  I will be working to advance her ideas for a long time.

Martin Ogle 

I just learned the sad news about Lynn’s passing.  Please know that my heart goes out to you and all her family, friends, and colleagues.  I sent this message this morning to my colleagues here at BRI and elsewhere.

H. Bruce Rinker, Ph.D.

Director of Scientific Advancement and Development

Biodiversity Research Institute

Gorham, ME

I just wanted to share in mourning Lynn's passing.  Her friends, disciples and admirers here at BU are in a state of shock and sadness, but man, did she pilot one hell of a ride through life or what!? 

Les Kaufman

Professor of Biology

Boston University Marine Program


Senior Marine Scientist

Conservation International

I'm very sad to hear about Lynn...   I first met Lynn at a meeting in Mexico City in 1981 and have been in touch sporadically throughout the years since then.  She was a great teacher, scientist, and mentor who made a tremendous impact not only on scientific thinking, but on the lives of many scientists; she prodded, encouraged, and celebrated the successes of young people starting their education or careers in biology, geology, and environmental science (even before that was a term in common usage).


My thoughts and sympathies are with Lynn's family and many friends and colleagues. We'll all miss her very much.


Maud M. Walsh, Associate Professor

School of Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences 

LSU Superfund Research Program

Women's and Gender Studies

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA

I am very sorry to learn that Lynn has left us. She was indeed a great scientist who will be sadly missed. I am sorry to have missed an opportunity of meeting her a few years ago.  Please convey my condolences to her lab, friends, and family.

Jacques Meyer


Sad indeed.  Lynn was a very special person and Becky and I are very glad we got to spend some time with her and Dorian.


It was a blast to sit in on her class. 

John Gerling

This is such sad, sad news.  


Dr. Myra J. Hird (D.Phil. Oxford)
(Full) Professor, Queen's National Scholar, and Graduate Studies Coordinator

I just found out that Lyn died.  Very shocked and sad.  She was a wonderful, great person who had exceptional courage. 

Eric Werner


This is truly tragic and I am so saddened to learn of Lynn's death.  She was my very first scientific mentor and I owe a lot of my success and education to her... If you are in touch with her children please do convey my sympathy to them, especially to Jennifer whom I got to know well but have not been in touch for over 30 years now.

Giovanni Bosco, PhD

Associate Professor, Molecular & Cellular Biology Chair, Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program

University of Arizona


The news was devastating. But also to the inevitable, it connects me with the courage and energy that she always says.   From the Sierra de Madrid I send you all the energy and encouragement to Margulis Lab Team. I hope to contribute to her legacy is maintained and spread. 


Luis Rico

In a few brief years that we had an honor to know her she became a great personal friend, and impacted our family's life more than most people would do.  Lynn's September 2010 visit here at Marshall was without any doubt the most important science event on campus ever.  I am both very sad and very proud that Kozo-Polyansky's "Symbiogenesis" is one of Lynn's last works, a truly beautiful book that woudl never exist without her -- I only last month wrote to Lynn about a Moscow presentation of this book done by K-P's grandaughter Eugenia, and it was to be our last correspondence.  Not only we will always remember her, we will talk and write of her constantly, and try to follow her steps and develop her ideas. She will be with us as long as we live.  I will now write about Lynn to a Russian journal, Priroda ("Nature")


Please give words of our deepest condolences to Dorion who we have met personally in Amherst back in 2009, and to the rest of the family.


Victor and Galina Fet (and our children Liz and Simon)

Thank you so much for alerting me to the loss of a wonderful and very important scientist.  I send my absolutely best to her family, and feel so very fortunate that she played such an important part in my life as a woman scientist.  When on the Board, I was so very pleased to see her receive an honorary degree from Bates college, to have her in my home when I was a Professor of Biology at Northeastern University in Boston'  PErhaps the most important part was to live long enough to watch her science take the place of importance that it deserved.  I just am saddened by the fact that life is so finite, a fact we all accept, but would have liked to have her life for a much longer period of time, and to have seen her once again to thank her for her contributions. 

Dr. M. Patricia Morse

Friday Harbor Laboratories

University of Washington

I co-authored a paper with Lynn and have counted myself her friend for many years. I would like to write a note of condolence to Dorion Sagan. Could you please let me have his email address and/or postal address? Thank you.
I wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving: we may give thanks for Lynn's exuberant and brilliant life.

Joel E. Choen

I am crushed to hear of Lynn's passing. The world is a duller place without her. Please give my condolences to everyone. 

Scott Blazis.


Very sad news.  I shared this news with members of the UC Press staff:

Sorry news on the eve of Thanksgiving, Lynn Margulis has died.  She was a force of nature, an advocate for cutting edge research, and an iconoclast whose originality and influence changed the World.  It is often said of a person upon their death that their like will not be seen again.  As for Lynn, this seems like understatement.  I can think of few others whose life's work has been as paradigm changing.  We were all lucky she was a part of the world of science.

Please accept my condolences and those of the rest of the members of UC Press.


C.R.Crumly PhD

Executive Editor

University of California Press

Berkeley, CA

Please convey our greetings and condolences to the family and report to them our deep sorrow at our loss of Lynn's daily presence.  As Dorothy says, she was a meteor in our lives and in our science of the Earth.  Only hours before her stroke, she and I encountered each other coming and going in the parking lot by the building.  We laughed about something she said, touched, and parted.  She was as usual, the picture of cheerful health, and as I left, I thought Oh, how healthy and fit she looks!  What a blessing!


Shattered with you all to discover otherwise.

Sursum Corda

Dr. Margulis touched our hearts as much as our brains and it was a great privilege to have her twice on our radio show (6/14/10 & 6/20/11).  With a deep bow to this great woman,

Ken Rose

My favorite thing about her was how she would surround herself by amazing people and then connect them in order for us all to grow.  I especially have felt this, but I know that was her style, always listing off names of people that we should meet.  I only hope that can continue somehow.


Andrew Brousseau

It was a pleasure to have ..., even briefly, to have a personal contact with Lynn. We admired and deeply respected her work and opinions, as a scientist and human being. We deeply regret for this sad news, but be sure Lynn will always be remembered in our hearts in Brazil, and honored during our School. 

Douglas Galante


We are shocked by the news, as is the whole scientific community of the world, although all we knew signaled a fatal end. We were so much looking forward to see Lynn in Sao Paulo in mid-December, without knowing of course that I was going to have to cancel that commitment due to my ailment.  Please convey our condolences to Lynn´s family. We will miss her deeply.

Prof. Dr. Víctor Ariel Gallardo, Ph. D., M.M.A.
Departamento de Oceanografía
Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanograficas
Investigador Asociado Centro de Biotecnología
Universidad de Concepción



We have lost a champion for the planet -- an essential intellect who always fed the mind, soul, and heart. Anyone who knew her or was even exposed to her lectures or conversations briefly will understand when I say I feel like have lost a pillar of twentieth and twenty-first century science and even more so lost a sister, mother, friend, and colleague rolled provocatively and beautifully into one.  Tough, compassionate, and always focused on what matters, Lynn would probably say at this moment, "Okay, love the's all you've got, and let's move on..."  Moving on without Lynn will be a challenge indeed.  To say that I and so many others around the world will miss her would be a profound understatement...


Douglas Zook

Boston University





As we move through our daily lives after the passing of our beloved professor, I realize how much Lynn has shaped my perspective of the world. Of course, I am fascinated by everything she was. Mollie, Alex and I love to talk about her.  We are so grateful that so much of what she had to teach was written down and communicated for us to cherish now that she is gone.

Alexandra Kinney

former student in Environmental Evolution

Missing Lynn

I am having a difficult time adjusting to the magnitude of the loss of Lynn—to her family, friends, colleagues, students, and to the universe of holistic thinkers.  Lynn’s death is akin to a giant redwood falling in the forest.

I had the chance to teach Evolution Geography with Lynn over the last two years, and her clear thinking, amazing vision and concern for her students stood out most of all.  Every session she taught was exciting and provided a chance to open new doors in learning.   Her warmth and generosity to those around her will be missed in ways that words fail to capture.   An important thing for each of us to remember is that Lynn lives on in the hearts of those who knew her well.

Richard Wilkie

Lynn was an extraordinary individual.  A celebratory symposium is very appropriate.

Peter Maloney, PhD

Professor and Associate Dean

Johns Hopkins Medical School

Baltimore, MD

Lynn and Carl Sagan on their wedding day

Updated 01/20/2014

photo: Jim MacAllister

photo: Christopher Briscoe