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David Graham Jenkins

1933 - 1995

Dr. (David) Graham Jenkins was born in 1933 in Tywyn Bâch (the old name for Burry Port) on the southeastern shore of Carmarthen Bay, South Wales. Both Graham and his brother TBH (Huw) Jenkins both became noted paleontologists primarily in Australasia. Huw Jenkins, spent most of his career as a staff member of the Department of Geology, University of Sydney. There he became an expert on the enigmatic (but stratigraphically very important) fossil group Conodonta, and, using samples obtained by Graham, was the first person to conclusively demonstrate the presence of strata of Carboniferous age in New Zealand.

Dr. Jenkins was a pioneer in southern hemisphere foraminiferal taxonomy and biostratigraphy. Early in his career, Dr. Jenkins spent a year at the Bureau of Mineral Resources in Canberra, Australia studying the use of planktonic foraminifera and borehole biostratigraphy. In 1959 he accepted an appointment with the Sunbury group (and later BP) to work on oil exploration in the sedimentary basins of New Zealand. From 1962 until 1966 Dr. Jenkins then was a micropaleontologist with the New Zealand Geological Survey. Subsequently, he was a Senior Lecturer, Reader and Acting Head of Geology, University of Christchurch (1966-77). He was the first to record conodonts in New Zealand (1967), which he later (1971) described jointly with his brother Huw, and with whom he also reported (1971) New Zealand's first diagnostic Carboniferous fossils.

In 1971 Dr. Jenkins published a definitive study of New Zealand Geological Survey Bulletin of Cenozoic planktonic foraminifera that documented 163 taxa through 40 sections and established 21 biozones. For this work he won the McKay Hammer Award of the Geological Society of New Zealand.

After retirement, Dr. Jenkins returned to the UK to become a lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Open University, Milton Keynes. And, in 1990, after retiring again, Dr. Jenkins and his wife moved back to Wales. Later in that year, he became an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Geology at the National Museum of Wales. He continued his foraminiferal oceanographic work, including an Indian Ocean Project at the University of Wales, Cardif. He also began work on the Pleistocene deposits of Gower, and on re-interpreting the origin and mode of transport of the Bluestones of Stonehenge from the Preseli Hills of West Wales. He also travelled widely, including a period as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ohio State University, USA.

In 1987 Graham had become interested in the origin of the bluestones at Stonehenge, and the method in which they were transported to Wiltshire. Together with some colleagues at the Open University, he was given permission from the Minister of the Environment to drill cores from some of the stones. The resulting paper received the annual award from the Antiquaries Society. At the time of his death he was still actively involved in this work, and he was planning to transport some more bluestones to be buried near Stonehenge to see whether they could be discerned by aircraft using heat-seeking equipment, and hence to discover whether any more bluestones were buried in the area.


Adapted from: ZoomInfo







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