Sharing our memories of a remarkable man

This site is a tribute to Professor Mike Land FRS, who was born in Dartmouth on April 12, 1942 and died in Sussex on December 14, 2020.  Mike was a man of many talents and interests and will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues alike. Reflecting on Mike's life over the past couple of days, we were aware that none of us is able to tell the whole story of his rich and varied life.  We decided to set up this page, so that everyone who knew Mike could share their memories, stories and pictures and we can remember him together.  Please feel free to make a contribution. 

Fundraising

Fundraising for

Fundraising

Fundraising for

Contribute

Help grow Mike's Tribute by adding messages or memories you'd like to share.

Thoughts

And here's a tribute from Mike's friend and colleague Prof Eric Warrant for the Journal of Comparative Physiology, where Mike and Eric both served as editors. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00359-022-01547-0
Adam April 12th, 2022
Here is a link to an obituary of Mike by his great friend and collaborator, Dan Nilsson. https://jeb.biologists.org/content/jexbio/224/5/jeb242427.full.pdf
Adam March 19th, 2021
Mike made more interesting discoveries in biology than just about anyone else I can think of. I count myself lucky to have known him while I was a PhD student at Sussex in the mid-1970s. He was kind to me and I have good memories of trips to pubs, innumerable lunches and playing music at his house. He would call me into his office and show me his latest discoveries. I recall an eye with 3 parabolic lenses (I still have a photo he gave me) looking for all the world like an expensive Leica – he told me it was a modified nose. And there was another beast with I think just one photoreceptor which was scanned back and forth. At that time I think he also discovered the box-faceted eyes of crabs and lobsters that have since served as an inspiration for the design of X-ray telescopes. Had Darwin and Mike lived at the same time I suspect Darwin would have paid a lot of attention to Mike’s work, no doubt via a gentlemanly exchange of letters. And perhaps he would have been a bit less puzzled by the human eye, considering the extraordinary variety of designs unearthed by Mike in other animals. Mike also belonged to that same British tradition of using simple methods combined with astute powers of observation and deduction. We could do with a bit more of that in these days when data is mined often without any clear idea of what to do with it. In person, Mike reminded me a bit of a hobbit (I hope no one minds me saying this). I swear he had curly hair on his feet. It seemed to me that he had the same virtues as hobbits – good plain common sense, enjoyment of simple pleasures, a dislike of pretentiousness, a bit of stubbornness but not too much, perseverance and all those English virtues celebrated by Tolkien. It is too bad that he is no longer with us.
Nick February 3rd, 2021
Fundraising for
Recent Activity