James Lenard Goodson Jr.

September 17, 1965August 14, 2014

James Lenard Goodson, Jr. 48, of Bloomington,passed away on Thursday, August 14, 2014 surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Ft. Worth, Texas to James L. and Gail(Hartman)Goodson on November 17, 1965. He received his doctorate and conducted postdoctoral work at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Jim was a Professor of Biology at Indiana University since 2007, but began as a professor at the University of California, San Diego in 2000. Jim was a behavioral neuroendocrinologist, naturalist, avid birder and environmentalist. He was well known for his work on estrilded finches, his passion for field work in Africa and his love for VW buses. He received the Frank Beech Award by the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology in 2004 and became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012. Jim is survived by his loving wife Marcy Kingsbury, his two children: Claire and Katie Goodson, his parents James and Gail Goodson and his sister Jacqueline George. He is also survived by 3 nephews. The family will receive friends on Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 3-5 p.m. in Day and Deremiah-Frye Funeral Home, 4150 E. Third St., Bloomington, Indiana 47401. Burial will be on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 in Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve, Newfield, NY. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that memorial contributions be given to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Online condolences may be made to the family at


  • Receiving of Friends

    Saturday, August 16, 2014


James Lenard Goodson Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dayu Lin

July 20, 2015

Although I don't know Jim in person, I have read and enjoyed many papers from his group. It is such a shock to learn his passing. He is a wonderful researcher for the neural mechanism of aggression!

Yiwei Wang

January 22, 2015

Dear Marcy, I was so sorry to hear of Jim's loss (belatedly) and hope that this message finds you despite the delay. Jim was a great boss and I learned so much working with him at my first "real" job out of college. I still have many fond memories of spending time with the finches in San Diego.

My own father died from cancer at age 49, so I am deeply sympathetic to what you and your daughters are going through. Please take care of yourselves and let me know if I can do anything at all to help!

Lauren Riters

September 6, 2014

Dear Marcy, I send my heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Jim was a creative, scientific force and a wonderful, kind person…a rare combination. It was a true pleasure to have known him, and he will be deeply missed. Love to you and the girls.

Ruth Wood

September 4, 2014

Dear Marcy,
I can't recall when I met Jim, and I can't believe that he's no longer with us. I always picture him with a smile on his face, and I always looked forward to seeing him at scientific meetings. I will miss him.

Heather Watts

September 4, 2014

Dear Marcy - I was so saddened to hear of Jim's passing. He was a mentor and role model for me. I will always be appreciative for how generous Jim was with his time, advice & hospitality. His tremendous blend of creativity, critical thinking, laboratory skills, and passion for the natural world was very special. His humor and energy made him so fun to be around. I will miss him greatly. My deepest condolences to you and the girls.

Sarah Jane Alger

September 4, 2014

I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Jim was an inspiration as a scientist, a teacher, a colleague, and a human being. He is and will continue to be deeply missed.

Nancy Forger

September 4, 2014

Dear Marcy - My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I greatly enjoyed getting to know you and Jim at SBN meetings. Jim's talks were always an inspiration - a rare blend of scholarship, passion, and artistry. Our field will miss him. My love to you and the girls,

August 27, 2014

Dear Marcy and Family,
Jim was a pillar of behavioral neurobiology research and education, but at the same time he was a superb field worker and birder. He will be sorely missed. Our hearts go out to you all.
John Wingfield and Marilyn Ramenofsky

Aras Petrulis

August 24, 2014

My deepest sympathies go out to Marcy and family. As everyone already knows, Jim was an outstanding scientist, filled with boundless curiosity about brains, behavior and birds. His scientific legacy is profound and provides future generations of scientists with a blueprint for a truly comparative understanding of social behavior and the brain. Jim could also be counted on to make me laugh until I started crying. Truly a unique and wonderful person: I will miss you tremendously.

Alexandra Schimmel

August 20, 2014

James Goodson was one of my favorite professors at IU and really sparked my interest in behavior and evolution this past spring. I'm sure I'm only one of many students who feel the same. I can't imagine how many more students he could have influenced if given the time to.