Robert Jan "Roy" van de Hoek, President
Ballona Institute
Los Angeles, California
June 17, 2014

Robert Jan "Roy" van de Hoek
August 12, 2014
          Ross Pohlo and James Beerbower obtained their Ph.Ds at the University of Chicago with the same advisor (Dr. Ralph G. Johnson). If that is not enough coincidence or serendipity, the book review in the Journal of the Geology is published by the University of Chicago, Illinois, so indeed this is a small world! Excerpts of the book review by Ross Pohlo are presented below.

Journal of Geology, Volume 70 (4): 505-506, July 1962
Book Review: Search for the Past by James Beerbower
Ross H. Pohlo
Kristeneberg Zoologiska Station, Sweden
          Beerbower begins his book, Search for the Past with the laconic statement, "Paleontology is the study of fossils. Fossils are the traces of life. There is my book in thirteen words." This is typical of the direct, unusual, and humorous approach that occurs throughout the text. Possibly a more descriptive sentence of the aims of the book appears on page 34: "thus the habits, habitats, and environments of most fossil vertebrates are known in detail; they are far less well known in corals and clams." It is the reviewer's impression that the author is attempting to rectify or stimulate others to rectify this discrepancy by posing a series of challenges and problems to the reader.
          For example, in the discussion of the various adaptive types of pelecypods; the diagrams are oversimplified or through error pervert the animals morphology and adaptation. Razor forms are labeled as being sluggish burrowers although these forms are among the most actively burrowing clams. A gliding motion is ascribed to certain pelecypod genera, but C. M. Yonge has shown that even in the most primitive living clams, the foot is highly developed and this gliding motion does not occur.
          However when viewed as a whole, this volume is a necessity for students of evolution and paleoecology, and its informative style makes it an ideal text for the amateur also.

Robert Jan "Roy" van de Hoek
          Interestingly, Ross Pohlo earned a Ph.D in Biological Sciences as part of a Committee in Paleozoology in 1961 at the University of Chicago. And we know that James Beerbower had done his Ph.D only 7 years earlier in 1954. And there is more, as Ralph Johnson was a young man that just earned his own Ph.D at the Unviversity of Chicago in 1954. And Ralph studied vertebrate zoology, namely the evolution of reptiles, for his Ph.D. After his Ph.D, Ralph became interested in animals without backbones, namely invertebrate zoology, particularly pelecypods (clams) and visited Dillon Beach Marine Station at Tomales Bay, California. So Ralph served as both an advisor for James Beerbower in vertebrate paleozoology and Ross Pohlo in invertebrate paleozoology. In addition, both James and Ross earned their B.S. and M.S. in Geology, but from different institutions. The associations of Ross, Ralph, and James are close and tight and linked together nicely.