Tien Wei Yang

Stephen R. Goldberg

He was tall and majestic, with an unforgetable racous laugh. He made periodic visits to the Lowe laboratory while working at Western Reserve Academy in Cleveland, Ohio. He had an immensely positive personality and projected a great love for both plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. He was deeply interested in creosote bush and published widely on the ecology of it. He travelled at his own expense through South America to collect Larrea seeds which he grew in plots outside Tucson. This enabled Tien Wei to compare North American versus South American Larrea. Tien Wei gave me a tour of his Arizona Larrea plots seeded with South American seeds. His dedication to the study of Larrea was inspirational.

On one visit to the Lowe laboratory, he brought a Gila monster that had rode all the way with him from Cleveland to Tucson. It was uplifting to be in his presence and I fed on his enthusiasm. During my difficult periods in the Lowe laboratory, it was Tien Wei who lifted me upward. Indeed, it was his unbridled enthusiasm for biology, life and living that played a major role in my completing the Ph.D. We stayed in touch for years after I left Tucson. I enjoyed many a dinner with Tien Wei, followed by ice cream in Howard Johnson's (on the Benson Highway) on my visits to work in the UAZ herpetology collection. He was always delighted and enthusiastic to see me. I carry an image of his smiling face in my mind and am forever grateful for his many encouragements. He was a magnificent role model. I miss him dearly.