- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Dr. Maurice J. Tauber, a visiting professor/scientist and associate with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, died Oct. 6 at the age of 82. Dr. Tauber was also an emeritus professor, and Graduate School professor, in the Department of Entomology at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
Dr. Tauber earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Manitoba, Canada. In 1966 he received his doctorate in entomology from the University of California, Berkeley. He was on the faculty of the Cornell University Department of Entomology, from 1966 to 2000, and chaired the department from 1981 to 1986. At Cornell, his research and teaching focused on biological control of insects and insect behavior, with emphasis on experimental studies of insect seasonal cycles. In 2000, he retired from Cornell and became associated with UC Davis, where his research emphasis shifted to the comparative biology of New World green lacewings.
For nearly 50 years, Dr. Tauber shared a prolific scientific career with his wife, Dr. Catherine (Kady) Tauber, whom he met at UC Berkeley. The scope of his research embraced ecological, evolutionary, and behavioral questions, and involved both beneficial and pest species from eight insect orders. The research yielded fundamental insights into insect photoperiodism, dormancy, development, and speciation. The findings have a broad impact on applied problems, for example in the management of diverse crop production systems and natural ecosystems. He published approximately 200 papers, many with Kady, in entomological journals, as well as in Nature, Science, and Annual Reviews. He had two paper in press, and was working on several manuscripts in the weeks before his passing.
He also wrote numerous book chapters, and a textbook Seasonal Adaptations of Insects (1986, co-authored with Kady and Dr. Sinzo Masaki of Japan). The book continues to serve as a stimulus and resource for research on insect seasonality: the underlying ecophysiological and genetic mechanisms; its role in the evolution of insect life histories and speciation; and its importance to insect pest management.
Dr. Tauber was major professor for a number of graduate students who have continued their careers in entomology, including Drs. Jim Nechols, John Obrycki, John Ruberson, Gilberto Albuquerque, Lindsey Milbrath, Yin-Fu Chang, and José I. Lopez-Arroyo. He was a dedicated mentor and enthusiastic supporter of his graduate students, as well as undergraduates who worked in the Blauvelt Lab at Cornell University. At UC Davis, he advised numerous graduate and undergraduate students in an informal capacity.
Dr. Tauber was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Entomological Society of Canada, and the California Academy of Sciences. He served on the Governing Board and several editorial boards of the Entomological Society of America. For more than 20 years he was active on the editorial board of the European Journal of Entomology. He was also a research associate of the B.P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu, and a member of numerous scientific societies.
The International Organization of Biological Control (IOBC) recognized his work with two awards that he shared with his wife: the IOBC/Nearctic Regional Section Distinguished Scientist Award (2002) and Honorary Membership – Global IOBC (2012).
Dr. Maurice Tauber is survived by his wife, and their sons and daughter (Paul, Michael, and Agatha).
No immediate services are planned, but a memorial may take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to a University of California library, or the Cornell University Library.
"When I joined the faculty at Davis in 1973, Maurice was the first to welcome me to the biological-control community and he served as my mentor for several years while I developed my research program. Following his retirement from Cornell, I was absolutely delighted to host both Maurice and Kady in my laboratory at Davis. It's been a wonderful collaboration. Maurice was a outstanding scientist, colleague, and friend. His passing is a great loss for our profession."--Les Ehler, emeritus professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
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