Stella Turk

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Stella Maris Turk
Born Stella Maris Treharne
1925 (1925)
Isles of Scilly, Great Britain
Died 3 April 2017(2017-04-03) (aged 91–92)[1]
Residence Cornwall
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Frank Turk
Awards Stamford Raffles Award
Scientific career
Fields Zoology, natural history, conservation
Institutions University of Exeter

Stella Maris Turk, MBE (1925 – 3 April 2017) was a British zoologist, naturalist, and conservationist. She was known for her activities in marine biology and conservation, particularly as it applies to marine molluscs and mammals. Turk became a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2002, and was awarded the Stamford Raffles Award by the Zoological Society of London in 1979.

What Stella Turk said about the British malacologist Arthur Erskine Ellis might just as easily be applied to her: "It is difficult to categorise people. Should one even try? We are all multiple in a singular way!"[2]

History[edit]

Stella Turk was born in 1925[3] in the Isles of Scilly, some distance off the western tip of Cornwall, Great Britain. She was born Stella Maris Treharne; her first two names, "Stella Maris", are a Latin phrase meaning "star of the sea", a title sometimes given to the Virgin Mary. Although Turk lived in New Zealand as a small child, she primarily grew up in Cornwall, and has spent most of her life living in and researching in that county. Turk is a working scientist and a published zoologist. In addition she worked with her late husband biologist Frank Turk in the field of adult education.

Stella Turk and Frank Turk founded the "Cornish Biological Record Unit" at the University of Exeter's, Institute of Cornish Studies. This was later incorporated into the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.[4] Turk served as the British Isles National Recorder for marine molluscs for the Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, as well as the Strandings Recorder (i.e. strandings of marine mammals, other marine vertebrates, and in fact any unusual organisms) for the Cornish Biological Records Unit. She was a major contributor to the Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (editor Adrian Spalding), as the author of thirty-six sections including many of the unusual and under-recorded animals such as Thorn-skins (Kinorhyncha) and Entoprocta.[5] For many years, she wrote a nature column in the West Briton.[6]

In 1979, Turk was awarded the Stamford Raffles Award by the Zoological Society of London "For contributions to the study of seahorse life and marine molluscs".[7]

In 1980 Turk was awarded an honorary Master of Science (MSc) from the University of Exeter.[8]

Turk was awarded an MBE in the 2003 New Year Honours List, "For services to Nature Conservation, Cornwall, while holding office as Strandings Recorder".[9]

A film cerebrating her tireless contribution was shown in 2013.[6]

Publications[edit]

Turk's publications include:

  • Turk, S.M. "Cornish Marine Conchology", Journal of Conchology: vol. 31, part 3, 1983
  • Turk, S.M. "Edward Step and the Long Drang, Portscatho, Cornwall". The Conchologists’ Newsletter 70: 159–162. 1979.
  • Turk, S.M. Introduction to Seashore Life in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (D.B. Barton, May 1970)
  • Turk, S.M. Collecting Shells (Foyle, 1966)

In 1966, Turk co-wrote a paper with Arthur Erskine Ellis:

See also[edit]

  • Frank Turk, her husband and collaborator on conservation issues

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stella Maris Treharne Turk MBE's Obituary on The Times". The Times. 
  2. ^ Turk, Stella (1 January 2013). "Stella Turk writes from Cornwall". Mollusc World. The Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland (8). Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Coan, Eugene V.; Kabat, Alan R.; Petit, Richard E. (7 February 2013), 2,400 Years of Malacology Tenth Edition (PDF), American Malacological Society, p. 955, archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2015, retrieved 6 January 2006 
  4. ^ Millar, Rowena (2013), Trust stalwarts receive honours (Issue No.91 - Summer 2003), Cornwall Wildlife Trust, archived from the original on 30 September 2015, retrieved 6 January 2006 
  5. ^ Spalding, Adrian, ed. (1997). Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Camborne: Croceago Press. ISBN 1 901685 00 4. 
  6. ^ a b "Film celebrates conservation work of Stella Maris Turk". West Briton. 5 December 2013. Archived from the original on 7 October 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  7. ^ Stamford Raffles Award Winners (PDF), Zoological Society of London, archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2015, retrieved 6 January 2006 
  8. ^ "Calendar 2013/14, Honorary Graduates of the University". University of Exeter. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "New Year's Honours List — United Kingdom". The London Gazette. 31 December 2002. p. 22. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2006. 

Further reading[edit]

  • J. Light, 2003. "In conversation with Stella Turk." Mollusc World 3: 16–17, 20.

External links[edit]