Ruth Dixon Turner, professor of biology emerita, died Sunday in Meadow Green Nursing Home in Waltham at the age of 85.
Turner was curator of malacology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. She was a world-renowned expert on teredos, sharp-shelled mollusks that bore through wood and are popularly known as “shipworms.” For this reason she was affectionately called “Lady Wormwood.”
Born in Melrose, Mass., Turner received her Ph.D. from Radcliffe College in 1954. She graduated from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts in 1936 and received a masters degree from Cornell University in 1944.
A funeral will be held at noon tomorrow (May 5) at Long Funeral Home in Cambridge. Burial will be in Puritan Lawn Cemetery in Peabody.