- Author: Henry Vaux, Jr., professor emeritus and AVP emeritus
Lowell N. Lewis, UC ANR associate vice president emeritus and professor emeritus at UC Riverside, passed away on July 17, 2020. He recently celebrated his 89th birthday, but had been in declining health for some months.
Lewis received his education at Pennsylvania State University and Michigan State University prior to joining the faculty in the Department of Horticultural Science at UC Riverside in 1960. His academic fields were biochemistry and horticulture and his research during the 1960s and beyond focused on the role of gibberellins in promoting citrus color. He also worked extensively on determination of the roles of plant hormones and cellulase in abcission. In 1971, he was named research dean in the College of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, a precursor of the current College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. In 1981, he was appointed director of the California Agricultural Experiment Station and assistant vice president in the UC Office of the President. In 1986, he was advanced to associate vice president. He formally retired from the university in 1991.
Following retirement, he served as a research consultant to the Agricultural Minister of Egypt and in 1994 began an extended period of additional service to UC, functioning as the University's liaison with the Catalonian (Spain) Institute of Agricultural Research and Technology. He was instrumental in establishing a technology transfer agreement with the Catalonian Institute and also a program of student and faculty exchange in honor of Gaspar de Portola, California's first governor who was born and raised in Catalonia. He also served on the Advisory Board of the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy and as a special advisor to the Chair of the Forum. During this period, he took up residence in Barcelona, Spain, where he remained until two years ago.
During his career, Lowell Lewis received many honors and awards. Among them were membership in the California Academy of Science, election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He was also nominated to participate in the Senior Executive Program at the Harvard Institute for Educational Management.
At the time of his death, Lewis resided in Irvine, Calif. He his survived by his three children Beth Marsh, Brad Lewis, Nancy Hermansen and several grandchildren.