The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.


In 1940 the senior members of the department were Chairman George R. LaRue (parasitology), A. Franklin Shull (genetics), Peter Okkelberg (embryology) and Paul S. Welch (limnology). A more junior group included Arthur E. Woodhead (parasitology), Frank E. Eggleton (invertebrate zoology), Alfred H. Stockard (vertebrate anatomy), Harry W. Hann (ornithology, and Alvalyn E. Woodward (physiology). Dr. Stockard also served for many years as director of the Biological Station at Douglas Lake. After the war, the influx of veterans swelled enrollment, and additional zoologists were appointed to the department.

In 1949 Professor LaRue resigned as chairman and was replaced by Dugald E. S. Brown, who served until 1965 and was succeeded by John M. Allen (1965-71) and Carl Gans (1971-75). Professor Brown, a physiologist, was charged with maintaining the strength of the department in limnology, genetics, and embryology while strengthening its expertise and curriculum in experimental biology. He also believed that some knowledge of ecology was important not only to zoologists but to all students seeking a liberal education.

Embryology became developmental biology. George W. Nace developed and directed the Amphibian Facility which raises genetically controlled lines of amphibians for zoological Page  228research. Experimental zoology has been an important feature in the department since the beginning of Brown's chairmanship. Most of the faculty in limnology, genetics, and embryology have been experimentalists. Two subdivisions of physiology became distinct enough to require specialists: neurophysiology and endocrinology. Associated with the physiologists and active in departmental affairs was Claire J. Shallabarger (1960-67), who taught radiation biology for the department but drew his salary as Coordinator of Kresge Radioisotope Laboratories in the Medical School. John E. Bardach, of the School of Natural Resources, who studied the physiology of fish, also held a professorial title in zoology from 1956 to 1971.

Chairman Brown also expanded the efforts of the department in cellular biology, a field in which exciting developments were occurring. Ecology beyond the confines of limnology also received emphasis. Its growth stimulated increasing public interest in environmental problems.

The Institute of Human Biology, an independent unit directed for many years by Lee R. Dice, was disbanded as Dice's retirement approached. Of its three main divisions, human genetics was transferred to the Medical School, mouse genetics to the Mammalian Genetics Center of the Department of Zoology, and the ecological research program to the Museum of Zoology. The ecology program became the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology, which later lost its separate identity.

The Museum of Zoology and the department had operated as separate units since 1909. Members of the Museum staff taught departmental courses in vertebrate and invertebrate biology, ecology, and evolution and played a major role in the departmental graduate program. Dean Charles E. Odegaard instituted the policy that Museum Curators were to have half-time appointments in the department for the academic year, with the balance of their salary in the Museum.

The curators from the Museum have joined the full-time ecologists in the department in teaching ecology and introductory biology to undergraduates, and they have directed substantial amounts of the doctoral research in zoology. Members from both groups played an important role in developing the Organization for Tropical Studies, a consortium of Page  229which the University is a member. They also contribute to the courses and the research opportunities that the Organization offers in Costa Rica.

Chairman Brown's interest in cellular biology led him to encourage participation of zoology in the interdepartmental concentration program in cellular biology, and to support the establishment of the Biophysics Research Division.

In 1940 the department's space was badly crowded. The Natural Science Building, first occupied in 1915, housed not only the Departments of Zoology, Botany, Geology and Mineralogy but also the School of Natural Resources and part of the Department of Psychology. A few rooms became available when Psychology left the building in 1953. In 1961-63, the Medical School vacated the former West Medical Building, whereupon the School of Natural Resources moved into its present quarters, relinquishing its space in the Natural Sciences Building to the remaining departments. Some of the teaching laboratories in the introductory zoology courses also were moved into the Natural Resources Building.

Even in larger quarters, crowding continued. Teaching laboratories had to be occupied not only throughout the day but also in the evening, and evening sections persisted in 1975. In 1971 space became available after the Medical School vacated the former East Medical Building. Space was released for Geology and Mineralogy and for additional teaching laboratories in the introductory biology courses and in most of the intermediate courses in zoology. The Departments of Zoology and Botany then became the only occupants of the Natural Science Building, which allowed them to expand. Renovating and equipping these new rooms required painstaking supervision, as did the renovation of older space to permit its occupants to do modern research. Members of the department who are curators have always been housed in the Museums Building, and the Mammalian Genetics Center and the Amphibian Facility are also housed outside the Natural Science Building.