Ronald Ian Currie

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Ronald Ian Currie FRSE CBE (1928–1996) was a Scottish marine biologist. He was known generally as Ron Currie. His skills lay in analysis of plankton layers in the oceans and use of Sonar.

He made Antarctic expeditions on both the RRS William Scoresby and the RRS Discovery. He was a Committee Member on the Nature Conservancy Council and Vice President of the Marine Conservation Society. He was linked to the Oban Community Council and did charitable work with the North British Hotels Trust and the Royal National Mission to Deep-Sea Fishermen.


He was born in Paisley on 10 October 1928 the son of Ronald Wavell Currie. He was educated locally then studied Zoology at Glasgow University graduating BSc with First Class Honours in 1949.[1]

After a short time at the University of Copenhagen he joined the Royal Naval Scientific Service from whence he was seconded to the National Institute of Oceanography then in Wormley, Surrey. In 1962 he became Head of Biology at the Institute. In 1966 he returned to Scotland to be Director of the Scottish Marine Biological Station at Millport on the island of Great Cumbrae. He retained this role until 1987, including the relocation of the station to Dunstaffnage (now known as Dunbeg). Here he was responsible for the development of the research vessels RV Challenger and RV Calanus which are now operational in oceanographic research. He was responsible for research projects in Loch Etive, Loch Eil and the Rockall Trough.

In 1969 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Sir Maurice Yonge, James Duncan Robertson, John Barclay Tait, and Roland Stanley Glover.[1]

He was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1977 Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours List. Heriot Watt University granted him an honorary professorship in 1979.[2]

He retired in 1987 and died in Oban on 19 February 1996.[2]


He met Cecilia de Garis, a nurse from Guernsey, during a shore trip to Simon’s Town naval base in South Africa during an Antarctic expedition and they married in 1956.


  • Organic Production in the Sea (1959)
  • The Benguela Current (1960)
  • Discovery: Britain’s Sea-going Research Laboratory (New Scientist 24 Jan 1963)