Robert Blake Reeves of Amherst, professor emeritus at the University at Buffalo and active in environmental organizations, died Wednesday (Jan. 31, 2001) of prostate cancer in his Amherst home under the care of Hospice Buffalo. He was 70.
Known as Blake Reeves, he was born in Philadelphia. He received a bachelor's degree with high honors from Swarthmore College and a doctorate in physiology from Harvard University, where he was a junior fellow in the Society of Fellows.
He moved to this area in 1966 and spent 28 years at UB in the department of physiology and biophysics in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He was an authority on the effect of temperature on acid-base regulation and the kinetics of red blood cell oxygen exchange.
Reeves served on the editorial board of the Journal of Comparative Physiology B, Biochemical, Systemic and Environmental Physiology; he also served as American editor of the same journal for many years.
His wife said he discovered natural history as a child and remembered with pleasure his mother letting him skip school on beautiful days so he could explore the fields and woods near his home. He studied mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds; after his retirement in 1995, he discovered the pleasures and challenges of field botany.
Though he traveled to many places around the world, his special delight was his property in Cattaraugus County, of which he knew every inch by heart.
In 1967, he and Theodore Hullar founded the Niagara Group of the Sierra Club and fought many local environmental battles.
In recent years, he was committed to the work of the Nature Conservancy, which he served as a trustee of the Western and Central New York Chapter. In 1996, he was among three opponents of logging in Allegany Park who received Environmentalist of the Year honors from Environmental Advocates, a statewide organization.
He also served on the Erie County Environmental Management Council.
Survivors include his wife, the former Marilyn Langford; a son, Adam of Manhattan; a daughter, Abigail D. of South Egremont, Mass.; and a granddaughter.
A memorial service will be scheduled.