Former Biology Professor Publishes Book of Deep Sea Life Paintings

Published: March 10, 2014

Former Biology Professor Publishes Book of Deep Sea Life Paintings

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. David McKee, a retired Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi Marine Biology professor of over 30 years, recently published a new book titled “Fire in the Sea: Bioluminescence and Henry Compton’s Art of the Deep.”

The book collects paintings and writings on deep sea marine life by the late Texas marine biologist Henry Compton. The book was released in late January, and is currently available for purchase courtesy of Texas A&M University Press.

McKee, a long-time admirer of Compton, has compiled this work into a comprehensive collection including supplementary material by McKee and other contributors.

McKee acts as curator for this book and highlights Compton’s work. He added additional chapters on topics such as bioluminescence, life in the deep, life history information and more. McKee’s previous work includes “Fishes of the Texas Laguna Made” (2008) and “A Dichotomous Key of the Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico” (2011).

Henry Compton was a marine biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Rockport, Texas. Compton was present for the initial discoveries of a number of deep sea creatures in the Gulf of Mexico.

He photographed these organisms in a dark room he created at his home, and added prose, often going father than descriptions and constructing elaborate narratives based on what he imagined their lives would have been like. After Compton’s death in 2005, his family discovered his paintings and writing in his home, which many people had never seen.