James Enright, an emeritus professor of behavioral physiology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, died Sept. 23, 2004 at his home in La Jolla, Calif., from Lewy body disease, complicated by pneumonia. He was 71 years old.
Enright's research interests included biological rhythms, marine ecology, human eye movements and visual perception.
Born in Baker, Ore., in 1932, Enright received undergraduate (1957, with highest honors), master's (1959) and Ph.D. (1961) degrees in zoology from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Enright's doctoral thesis research was completed at Scripps between 1957 and 1961 under E.W. Fager.
In 1981 he was awarded the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Prize to study at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany. His research there concerned visual physiology associated with optical illusions, including an analysis of eye-brain interaction during vision distortion.
He was appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Zoology at UCLA in 1963. He rejoined Scripps in 1966 as an assistant professor of oceanography. He became an associate professor in 1968 and professor of behavioral physiology in 1974.
Enright served as a Fulbright-Hayes Fellow lecturer at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, in 1978 and 1979.
He retired from Scripps in June 2000.
Enright's career included membership in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow); Sigma Xi; the American Society of Naturalists; the British Ecology Society; and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Enright is survived by his wife, Roswitha, of La Jolla; his sister Margaret Ivester of La Grande, Ore.; and his four sons Phillip and Paul of San Diego, Kenneth and Patrick of the Seattle area and their families.