Roscoe Howells was brought up in Llanelli and educated at the County School ( later the Grammar School). He studied biological science at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and was awarded a Doctorate following research work on aspects of the micro-biology of a Welsh estuary.
He then worked at a research laboratory of the Agriculture Research Council in Warwickshire before joining the then fledgeling River Boards in 1956. Here, he was responsible for the scientific aspects and problems for the area from the river Tawe in the south east to the river Dovey in the north west. Roscoe remained in this post for 18 years.
In 1974, Roscoe Howells was appointed as Science Director of the newly formed Welsh Water Authority which took over all aspects of the water cycle including water supply, sewerage and sewage disposal and management of rivers, lakes and tidal waters. Here his responsibilities included Wales and parts of Herefordshire and Shropshire. He remained in this post for 13 years until his retirement in 1987.
Before and after retirement, Roscoe Howells served on a number of government scientific and environmental committees and, in more recent years, he has been involved with a number of local organisations concerned with local history. He has been an active member of the Llanelli Branch of the WEA and was chairman for 12 years.
Like almost all his contemporaries in the immediate post-war period, Roscoe joined the forces. He served in the Navy, completing his service in the occupation in Germany.
During his research at Aberystwyth, whilst working on the micro-biology of soils, Roscoe, by chance, and, using a then new technique, came across a number of species of a “ very microscopic “ animal some of which were new to the British Isles and 2 of which were completely new to science.
Following the usual formal protocol, one of these has now been named after him ie. Cheylostigmaeus howellsi. This is his one and only claim to fame !!