John Graham Ramsay


I was so saddened to hear of John’s death. He was such an inspiration to so many of his students, as well as to those who never met him personally but knew him through his ground-breaking books. I will always be grateful to John for giving me the chance to study with his group and colleagues in Zurich and for openly sharing his knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, all aspects of geology. When I arrived in Zurich, practically penniless, he generously gave me a place to stay with his family until I could find an affordable apartment. When I fell and hurt myself badly during the early days of my field work, he encouraged me to “get back on the horse” and carry on mapping, but with more care in future! Without John’s early support and unfailing encouragement throughout, I might never have got my studies off the ground. His passion for field work and the importance of careful observation, measurements, and analysis was infectious. He provided opportunities for his students to travel to important geological sites elsewhere, including to the classic geo-localities in Scotland (photo below taken in 1980) and to the Grand Canyon, among many other sites of interest. John encouraged me to explore new directions in my studies and so develop the basis for my future career. I only hope that I was able to transmit at least some of his wisdom and insight on to my own students, who are in turn teaching the next generation and through whom the legacy of John Ramsay will continue to live on.

Carol Simpson

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