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Published: 2020-12-28

Obituary: Robert Eugene Ruff (1947–2017)

Aquatic Research & Consulting, 24 Hitty Tom Road, Duxbury, MA 02332 USA
Washington State Department of Ecology, Marine Monitoring Unit, 300 Desmond Drive, Olympia, WA 98504-7600 USA
Aquatic Research & Consulting, 24 Hitty Tom Road, Duxbury, MA 02332 USA


Robert Eugene Ruff (Fig. 1A) was born on 13 April 1947 in Allendale, Michigan, USA, and died on 26 November 2017 at his home in Puyallup, Washington, at the age of 70. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to the State of Washington where he lived for much of his life. He graduated from Clover Park High School, Tacoma, WA, in 1965 and subsequently attended the University of Washington, where he graduated with a B.S. in Biological Oceanography in 1971. While a student at the University of Washington, he married his high school sweetheart, Lorraine Marie Charlton on 17 July 1968.


  1. Wilson, W.H. Jr. & Ruff, R.E. (1988) Species profiles: Life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (North Atlantic) – Sandworm and Bloodworm. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, Biology Report, 82, 1–23.

    Ruff, R.E. & Brown, B. (1989) A new species of Euchone (Polychaeta: Sabellidae) from the NW Atlantic with comments on ontogenetic variability. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 102 (3), 753–60.

    Ruff, R.E. (1990) Polychaete voucher collections for Exxon Studies 4 and 7: Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula Biological Recovery. Final Report prepared for Dames & Moore, Seattle, WA, under Contract No. 8837-326-5060-020, 70 pp.

    Hilbig, B. & Ruff, R.E. (1990) Remarks on the genus Pettiboneia (Polychaete: Dorvilleidae) with descriptions of two new species. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, 89 (3), 115–123.

    Ruff, R.E. (1991) A new species of Bathynoe (Polychaeta: Polynoidae) from the north-east Pacific Ocean commensal with two species of deep-water asteroids. Ophelia, supplement 5, 219–230.

    Ruff, R.E. (1995) Family Polynoidae Malmgren, 1867. In: Blake, J.A., Hilbig, B. & Scott, P.H. (Eds.), Taxonomic Atlas of the benthic fauna of the Santa Maria Basin and western Santa Barbara Channel, Volume 5, The Annelida Part 2. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, California, pp. 105–166.

    Ruff, R.E. (1998) North Puget Sound polychaete verifications. Final Report prepared for the Washington State Department of Ecology, Olympia, WA, under Field Order No. F-258044. 92 pp. and 1 appendix.

    Ruff, R.E. (2002) Polychaete voucher species from the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Preliminary Report prepared for Marine Taxonomic Services, Ltd., Corvallis, OR, under Task No. RS-0115-1. 59 pp.

    Blake, J.A. & Ruff, R.E. (2007) Annelida: Polychaeta, Pp. 309–410, In: Carlton, J.T. (Ed.), The Light & Smith Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates from Central California to Oregon. Fourth Edition. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1001 pp.