Professor Emeritus Randall Hepburn

Professor Emeritus Randall Hepburn

It is with sadness that we inform staff members of the death of Professor Emeritus Randall Hepburn, a productive researcher and academic member of the Rhodes community.

Prof Randall Hepburn FRSSAf died peacefully on Wednesday evening. He was appointed to the Chair of Entomology at Rhodes University in 1986 and served as HoD of the Department of Zoology & Entomology from 1988 until 1996, as Dean of Science for six years, and briefly as Acting Vice-Chancellor. Previously he had been Reader in Biological Materials in the Physiology Department at the University of the Witwatersrand. He published over 300 formal papers and five books on entomological topics; edited the South African Journal of Science; and received the Gold medal of the Zoological Society of Southern Africa, the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Senior Research Award, Fellowship of the Royal Society of South Africa and Fellowship of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa.

Despite his ‘theoretical’ retirement in 2001 he continued in an emeritus position as Research Professor in Apiculture at Rhodes University. During 2011 he moved to Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, with his wife Colleen, and continued with his research on honeybees in Thailand and South East Asia. In 2013 he was honoured as a Distinguished Fellow of Rhodes University.

He is survived by his wife, Colleen, four children and two granddaughters. Three of his children graduated from Rhodes, Kirsten (Journalism), David (Law) and Ashton (Computer Science). Rowan, his youngest son, lives and works in Alaska. Randall was a natural scholar and teacher who challenged his students intellectually. Those close to him got to see his gentler side, his love of plants, gardening, his endless curiosity and the 'need to know' which was his driving force. He touched many people's lives and he will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

Last Modified: Mon, 08 Aug 2016 14:57:35 SAST