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Gideon Louw
1930 - 2004

Author of popular science and academic books on animal physiology and a book on the Boer War
Holder of the Louw Chair of Zoology,
Stellenbosch University, 1971 - 1975

Gideon Nel Louw was born on 24 December 1930. He grew up on a farm "situated on a beautiful, unspoiled tidal river on the east coast of South Africa". He studied at the Universities of Stellenbosch (BSc) and Pretoria (MSc) and continued his education at Cornell, USA, where he obtained a PhD.
His research interest was the ecophysiology of desert animals. He was professor at the Zoology Department of Stellenbosch University and later, was the Head of the Zoology Department at the University of Cape Town until 1987, when he became executive director of the Foundation for Research and Development (now National Research Foundation). After his retirement in 1992 he moved to Canada, where he lived on Vancouver Island. He wrote several scientific books on animal physiology and a book on the Boer War. It is based on stories his father told of his own youth, while he sat with his children on the veranda of their farmhouse.

These stories have remained with me for a lifetime and the main reason for writing this novella was to pass some of these on to my children and grandchildren, thereby giving them some understanding of their cultural roots. In addition, the social history of Afrikaner families between 1899 and 1918 has not been well covered through the medium of English. Much of it is biased and it is my hope that this modest contribution might redress this imbalance in a small way.
A Story from the Boer War, from the foreword
He was married to Claire, and they had a daughter, Kristin. Gideon Louw died on 22 March 2004.

Awards and Honours:

Sir George Farrar Prize for Science
Captain Scott Senior medal
Gold medal of the Zoological Society of Southern Africa
Havenga Prize for Biology 1989 of the Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns
Fellowships of the Royal Society of South Africa and of the University of Cape Town
Doctor honoris causa from the University of Pretoria


90 scientific papers
Buy this bookBooks:
Ecology of Desert Organisms (Co-author: Mary Seely), 1986
Physiological Animal Ecology, C C L Corporation, 1992
The Springbok: Antidorcas marsupialis (Zimmermann, 1780) (Co-author: J.D. Skinner), Transvaal Museum Monograph, 1996
Why Elephants & Fleas Don't Sweat, Detselig Enterprises Ltd., 1996
A Story from the Boer War, City Scribe Publishing, 2002

can be ordered at members.shaw.ca/gideon-louw/index.htm

Author's photo: Foundation for Research Development

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