Llano, George A(lbert) 1911-2003

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LLANO, George A(lbert) 1911-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 22, 1911, in Havana, Cuba; died of influenza February 9, 2003, while traveling on the Atlantic Ocean. Scientist, educator, and author. Llano was a renowned biologist and expert on plant and animal species of the Antarctic. Emigrating from Cuba, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen; he earned a B.S. in zoology from Cornell University in 1935, an M.A. in museum science from Columbia in 1939, and a Ph.D. in botany from Washington University in 1949. His studies were interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the U.S. Army Air Force. During the 1940s, he also worked in several different jobs, including as an instructor at Harvard University, a microtechnician at Washington University, and an associate curator of the Division of Cryptogamia at the Smithsonian Institute. While in the Air Force, Llano studied lichens when he was off duty and discovered a species called Cladonia perforata that is now on the endangered species list. After the war, he continued his association with the Air Force as an associate professor of botany at Air University during the 1950s. The late 1950s and 1960s saw Llano become increasingly involved in the study of polar life as a botanist for the International Geophysical Year of the U.S. National Committee, a coordinator of biology and medical science for the Arctic Institute of North America, and as a specialist with the Library of Congress. From 1962 to 1971, Llano was the director of Antarctic biology for the Office of Antarctic Programs of the Division of Environmental Science, and from 1971 until his retirement in 1977 he was program manager of polar biology and medicine for the Office of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation, for which he became acting chief scientist and program manager. Llano was instrumental in helping to establish medical and biology programs for stations in Antarctica; his contributions to science led to a family of prehistoric whales being named in his honor, as well as a mountain in Antarctica. Llano was also the author of such books as Economic Uses of Lichens (1951), and Sharks: Attacks on Man (1976), and edited the books Biology of the Antarctic Seas (1972), Antarctic Terrestrial Biology (1972), and Adaptations within Antarctic Ecosystems (1977).



Washington Post, February 15, 2003, p. B6.