John Graham Ramsay

It was a heart-breaking message we received on January 12th. One of the greatest geologists has passed away. John was more than an exceptional structural geologist, teacher and mentor for so many of us and we will remember all the wonderful moments with him.

I recall vividly his first visit to my field area, studying fold interference patterns in Sardinia. John presumably closed there a cycle that started with his own mapping on the superposed folds in the Scottish Highlands. Then some of his very first students worked in SW Sardinia and methods of strain measurements evolved from there. Now here I was the last in a long line of students and eager to show John my first and of course pretty complicated outcrop. He looked at it for a moment and responded; lets continue and see what is around the corner. We repeated that for a while until he stopped to analyze one outcrop. With our observations in mind we returned to the passed places and the structural geometries became so clear.  We had mapped a refolded fold system.

I learned a lot from him (not only) that day! First, don’t waste time at complicated locations, rather look for critical observations and carefully follow those.

I am grateful for all the precious time with John and his gentle way of sharing his knowledge simply by living it every moment. And not to mention all the wonderful discussions and his warm and enthusiastic vita.

It was the best time of my life.


Hermann Lebit, February 2021


Hermann Lebit

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