Diving Pioneer, Philanthropist, Malacologist
Twila Bratcher was a diving pioneer and adventurer, and learned diving from Conrad Limbaugh in1951 and E.R. Cross in 1953. Cross wrote, “Twila was the prize student of my first class,” calling her a “National Treasure.” She formed Sea Nymphs, a women-only dive/spearfishing club, was an underwater television show actress, underwater photographer, pilot, and Platinum Pro 5000 Diver. Bratcher’s Living Terebras of the World is the definitive book on terebra shells. She described 35 species, authored 73 papers on malacological topics, with four species named for her. She dived the world for her fieldwork, visiting museums, studying, identifying, and gifting shell paratypes. Twila endowed Scripps Institute of Oceanography, The LACM of Natural History, and San Diego Wildlife Park.