Hagai Ron (1944–2012)
Hagai Ron was born on a small kibbutz in Palestine, north of the Dead Sea. He passed away in the presence of his family on 10 September 2012. He is survived by three daughters and four grandchildren.
After completing his Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1984, he was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, specializing in paleomagnetism and structural geology. He returned to Israel in 1987, building the first paleomagnetic laboratory in Israel at the Geophysical Institute of Israel. In 2001, he moved with his lab to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he stayed until his retirement earlier this year.
Hagai’s interest in the topic continued throughout his career, but he was far from a one-trick pony. He had several other major research themes and was constantly com- ing up with innovative ideas. He made significant contributions to the timing of hominid dispersal out of Africa, having nailed down the date of the oldest discoveries in Israel. He tried to define a paleosecular variation record from the Lisan formation but instead demonstrated the limitations of such a record due to the growth of greigite during diagenesis. Most recently, he championed the use of Israeli and Jordanian archeologi- cal materials, most notably metallurgical slag deposits, for the study of paleointensity variations in the southern Levant.
Hagai was naturally collaborative, seeking out projects with the international scientific community, particularly in the United States and Germany. He was an excellent mentor for his graduate students, who remain deeply grateful for his thoughtful attention. He was a pleasure to work with, loving nothing better than a wild brainstorming session, peppered with good-natured argument. He was full of great ideas, yet he was a humble man. He will be missed.