John Basil Goodey was born at Dorridge, Warwickshire,
on 10th May 1914 and educated at City of London School and University College,
London. His training was mainly as a botanist and, after obtaining his
B.Sc. degree in 1937, he continued at University College as Quain Student
in Botany for two years teaching and demonstrating to botany students.
Being a Quaker he did not enter the armed forces when war broke out but
was engaged in farming and Quaker relief work. From 1943 to 1947 he worked
in the Oil Seeds and Weed Control Unit first at Imperial College and later
at the Department of Agriculture, Oxford. In 1947 he joined his father
in the Nematology Department then situated at the London School of Hygiene
and Tropical Medicine Field Station, Winches Farm, St.- Albans, which moved
a year later to Rothamsted Experimental Station.
Until his father's death in 1953, he worked mainly on nematodes of the genus Ditylenchus but he afterwards widened his interests and gradually took his father's place as the leading British authority for the identification and classification of plant and soil nematodes. During 18 years he published over 60 scientific papers and also undertook the revision of his father's books. "Laboratory methods for work with plant and soil nematodes" was revised and enlarged three times. "The nematode parasites of plants catalogued under their hosts" was revised and ex-tended and, shortly before his death, an entirely new revision of the catalogue was prepared with the help of Dr. Mary T. Franklin and Mr. David J. Hooper and will appear shortly. His greatest contribution to nematology, however, and one which brought world recognition, was the complete revision of "Soil and freshwater nematodes" with its many new descriptions and redescriptions of genera and a new classification of major groups.
Basil Goodey was awarded Ph.D., and D.Sc., degrees of London University in1951 and 1961 respectively and became a Fellow of the Institute of Biology in 1964. He was invited to lecture at a nematology course at Cornell University in 1962 and assisted in a complete course at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi in 1964 under the aegis of the Rockefeller Foundation. From 1959 he served on the Editorial board of Nematologica where, by his influence and by publishing "Data to be considered, observed and, where possible, reported upon when presenting descriptions of new species", he strove to improve the standards of drawing and describing nematodes. He was never happier than when advising, teaching or serving others. Because of him many students as well is experienced nematologists from home and abroad came to Rothamsted to learn to idenentify nematodes or to study some problem in classification or bionomics.
Many specimens for diagnosis
were also received from all over the world. Not only in the laboratory
but also at home there was always a welcome for visitors who would be introduced
to the many non-scientific interests pursued by both Joan and Basil Goodey.
By nature he was kindly, helpful and sensitive, and ill equipped to bear
that acrimonious criticism which taxonomy seems to engender to a greater
extent than other branches of biology.
Over the last two years he had become interested in numerical taxonomy and had prepared for the computer lists of characters used in diagnosing major groups. -Results were inconclusive and the work was interrupted by plans to visit New- Zealand at the invitation of the New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and to return via Australia. He set out with his wife on 1st October, 1965, and was first taken ill a few days' sailing from Panama.. After spending some days in hospital in the Canal Zone, he and his wife were returning to London, but, while the boat was off Miami, Florida, he died of a heart attack during the night and was buried at sea the same day. Besides his widow, he leaves a daughter and two grand-daughters to whom his many friends will wish to offer their sympathy.