The marine biologist--Bob Endean

Toxicon. 2006 Dec 1;48(7):768-79. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2006.07.014. Epub 2006 Jul 14.


Bob Endean was a dedicated marine biologist with an extensive knowledge of coral reef communities in the Great Barrier Reef and fauna in subtropical Queensland waters. He commenced a study of venomous and poisonous marine animals dangerous to man at a time when the field was new, employing a variety of techniques to investigate the venom apparatus, mode of delivery of venom or toxin, mode of toxic action on excitable tissues, and biochemistry of venom or toxin. Determination of the pharmacological properties of crude venom from Conus marine snails advanced characterization of conotoxins by later workers. A study of four types of nematocysts from the box-jellyfish Chironex fleckeri provided information as to their structure, function, and mechanism of discharge; myotoxins T1 and T2 were isolated from microbasic mastigophores. Endean studied poisonous stonefish (Synanceia trachynis) and, with Ann Cameron, scorpionfish (Notesthes robusta); investigations of ciguatera and of paralytic shellfish poisoning were initiated. He organized the collection of Australian frogs which led to the isolation of caerulein by Erspamer in Italy. Endean highlighted the ecological danger of the population explosion of the crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) and provided the impetus for the creation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Australia
  • History, 20th Century
  • Marine Biology / history*
  • Marine Toxins / history*
  • Marine Toxins / isolation & purification
  • Marine Toxins / toxicity


  • Marine Toxins

Personal name as subject

  • Bob Endean