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Maurice J. Tauber

Tauber, Maurice J.

(1931-2014): Maurice J. Tauber, age 82, died at the University of California Davis Medical Center on October 6, 2014. He and his family were long-time residents of Ithaca where Maurice was a member of the Cornell University faculty from 1966 to 2000. Son of Samuel and Gertrude Tauber, Maurice grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, and earned B.S. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Manitoba. He then pursued graduate work in entomology at UC Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. in 1966. In the same year, Maurice and Catherine (Kady) Toschi were married. Their research collaboration, which began several years before their marriage, lasted for more than 50 years. At Cornell, Maurice advanced to Professor in 1978 and served as Chair of the Department of Entomology from 1981-1986. His research focused on insect behavior and the biological control of insect pests, with emphasis on experimental studies of insect seasonal cycles. He wrote approximately 200 papers, many with his students and Kady, including articles that were published in Nature, Science, and Annual Reviews. 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 many aspects of insect seasonal cycles. He had two papers in press, and was working on several manuscripts in the weeks before his passing. Among students, colleagues, and family, Maurice was known for his broad perspective on complex issues, his enthusiastic mentoring and support, and his sense of humor even in taxing times. For example, research in the Tauber lab showed that a process termed "sympatric speciation" played a crucial role in the evolution of various insect species. Initially, the findings were controversial within the research community, but spirits in the lab were buoyed during annual celebrations of "Sympatric's Day" on March 17th, coincident with St. Patrick's Day and Cornell's Dragon Day. Over time, the concept of sympatric speciation became widely accepted, in part due to the persistent contributions of Dr. Tauber's lab. After retiring from Cornell, Maurice and Kady moved to California where they maintained their scientific activity in association with the University of California at Davis. At UCD, their research emphasis shifted to the comparative biology and systematics of New World green lacewings. They conducted field studies and collaborative research in Argentina, Brazil, several Central American countries, Mexico, and Canada. In addition, Dr. Tauber continued to advise graduate and undergraduate students in an informal capacity. Maurice was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 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 twenty 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 many scientific societies. Maurice is survived by his wife; his son, Paul (spouse Mary); son, Michael; daughter Agatha; and three grandchildren, Richard, Lesley & Julia. At Maurice's request there was no memorial service. The family suggests that any donations be made to the Mann Library at Cornell University, or to a University of California library.



Published in Ithaca Journal from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20, 2014
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