Newton, Ma — Todd, Neil Bowman, of Newtonville, Mass., passed away after a lengthy illness on Sunday, March 30, 2014.
Neil was born on January 3, 1936, in Cambridge, Mass., and was the son of Albert Bradbury Todd, Jr. and Mary Heath Todd.
Neil’s love of traveling and world affairs began when he was young, traveling and living with his military family on Army Air Corps bases in Alabama, Maine and Wales.
From the age of seven, Neil was an avid collector, specializing in comic books, coins and stamps. For many years, he was affiliated with numismatic societies and was a co-founder of Colony Coin Co. in Newtonville with his partners Harvey Fenton, Charles Wallace and Arthur Fitts III.
Neil graduated from UMass/Amherst with honors in zoology for his publication on “The Inheritance of Taillessness in Manx Cats.” While at UMass/Amherst, he met his wife, Joyce (Seat) Todd of Springfield, Mass. Neil and Joyce moved to Newtonville when Neil began his doctoral studies in biology at Harvard University, completing his dissertation in 1963, "The Catnip Response." An N.I.H. post-doctoral fellowship and the Committee for the Study of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University supported his field studies on the lions in the Gir Forest, Gujarat State, India. Dr. Todd was affiliated with and taught biology at Harvard University, Boston University, Lesley University, Emmanuel College, and Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland.
He combined his love of history with his interest in genetics, engaging in extensive travel in order to map the gene frequency distribution of the domestic cat. By conducting historical research on shipping and trade routes, he was able to determine how specific coat patterns and other genetic markers were distributed throughout the world. His field studies were conducted in Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, France, Spain, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Mexico, Curacao, and Venezuela.