Born: 1935, Wichita, Kansas
- Early education in the Wichita public school system
- 1958 B.A. Zoology, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
- 1961 M.S. Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
- 1963 Ph.D. Physiology, Oregon State University
- 1963-1964 NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Marine Science, Miami, FL
- 1964 Joined the Biology Department at Virginia Tech
For 38 years Heath's research and that of his students included various aspects of the environmental physiology of freshwater fishes, including effects of toxic pollutants, temperature or low oxygen stresses on metabolism and other physiological stresses. He served as Assistant Professor of Zoology (1964-66), Assistant Dean of Arts & Sciences (1966-69), Associate Professor of Zoology (1969-97), and Professor of Biology (1997-2002). While Associate Editor of the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society (1993-95), Heath completed the 2nd edition of his popular text Water Pollution and Fish Physiology (1995). Numerous courses taught included Fish Environmental Physiology, Introductory Animal Physiology, Comparative Physiology, Advanced Topics in Comparative Animal Physiology, Human Anatomy and Physiology and Freshman Biology courses. In addition, several summers were spent at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory teaching Physiological Ecology and doing research on high altitude salamanders.
Heath officially retired in 2000 but continued to teach Introductory Animal Physiology for three years.