William Patrick Green Coogan
I joined the University of York’s Department of Biology as a postdoctoral researcher in January 2018, at the beginning of Will’s second term as a doctoral student. Jen Potts was co-investigator on the grant providing my funding, and I was thus an associate member of the Potts’ lab until Jen returned to Australia. I first met Will at the lab’s journal club, and will always remember his nonchalant response to Jen’s admonishments that the younger members of the lab had not even found time to read the paper that we discussed (let alone any of the associated literature!). This became something of a recurring theme; a quiet nonchalance (“Right, OK”) in the face of Jen’s legendary sternness. That and the cheery, beaming smile accompanied with an “Oh, hello Julie” as if slightly surprised to see me appear on L1. Will was always cheerful, polite and helpful, and took care to thank me for the time I spent (at his request) discussing his results and explaining what I might do next and why. I enjoyed our discussions, even though it sometimes took several sessions to convince him to change direction. He approached a difficult project with dogged determination and quiet persistence, and I am both glad that his efforts were rewarded by success, and very sad that he will not be there to see his project through to its conclusion and receive the doctorate he deserved.