Raymond Louis Neubauer, Senior Lecturer in Biology at the University of Texas at Austin, died of a sudden heart attack in his home in Austin on Sunday, July 13, 2014.
Dr. Neubauer had been teaching in the College of Natural Science since 1994 where he was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2001, teaching a variety of courses including Genetics, Genetics and Evolution, the Structure and Function of Organisms, Introductory Biology, and, for the UT Extension Night Classes, Cellular and Molecular Biology and Developmental Biology. He was beloved and well known for his teaching and for his concern that every student admitted as a biology major would be able to complete the program successfully. The students nominated Dr. Neubauer in 1994 and 2005 for the Texas Excellence in Teaching Award. His course guide for Zoology 317, a correspondence course in genetics, has been used continuously for the last ten years and is the longest running biology course offered in UT's Distance Education Center.
Neubauer's scholarly publications include work in biology, zoology, and evolution, including Supernormal length song preference of female zebra finches and a theory in the evolution of bird-song (Evolutionary Ecology, 1999) and the Evolution of Personality (Science and Theology News, 2004).
His most recent book, Evolution and the Emergent Self: The Rise of Complexity and Behavioral Versatility in Nature (Columbia University Press, 2011) was runner-up for the University-wide Hamilton Book Award. This complex work combines cosmic history, biology and evolution and explores the rise of complex organisms in terms of information content and systemic complexity from the formation of planets through human culture and the possibility of life elsewhere in the cosmos. While the book is written in strictly scientific terms, it also reflects Neubauer's deep belief that evolution is not inconsistent with religious belief. Since publication of the book, he has been sought after as a speaker and reviewer of published and prospective books in the fields of ethology and evolution.
In addition to his scholarly publications, Ray Neubauer published three books of poems: The Visionary Universe: A Prophecy (1973); The Banquet of Eternity: 20th Century Psalms (1996) and Voyages into Transcendence (2002).
Dr. Neubauer grew up in New York City and graduated from the Fieldston School. Most unusual in his broad intellectual interest, he earned his B.A. in English from Dartmouth College, his M.A. in English from the University of Chicago (where he taught in an inner-city school) and his PhD in Zoology from the University of Texas in Austin in 1993. In addition, he created Phoenix Stained Glass, a custom glass and craft supply company where he worked for fourteen years, making unusual stained glass pieces on commission. Symbolic of his love for nature, Ray created a small business called Bay of Rainbows, growing unique strains of water-lilies, lotus, and other water plants in his backyard, eventually donating them to the University. He then designed the plant layout and established the plants in the University's three turtle ponds, where they continue to flourish.
Raymond Neubauer is survived by his loving wife Anne of forty-five years; his children, Tania and Ari; his grand-daughter, Lilikoi; his sister, Eva Neubauer Jacob and his brother, Frank Neubauer. Ray was part of a loving and devoted extended family each of whom will sorely miss his intellect, warmth, humanity, and courage.
A funeral for family and close friends was held on Wednesday, July 16, at the Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home. A memorial service is being planned at the University for early Fall.
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from July 20 to July 21, 2014