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Theodore Huntington Hubbell
LSA Minutes


Theodore H. Hubbell, former Director of the Museum of Zoology and Professor Emeritus of Zoology, died September 22, 1989, at the age of 92. Retirement had represented only a minor boundary for him and he continued his research and interactions with colleagues and graduate students until shortly before that date.

Hubbell was born July 4, 1897, in Detroit. Following military service in World War I, he completed his bachelor's degree at Michigan in 1920 and remained for two years as an assistant in the Museum of Zoology. He then went to the Bussey Institution at Harvard and in 1923 to the faculty of the University of Florida. While teaching in Florida, Hubbell also served as Honorary Associate Curator of Orthoptera in the Museum of Zoology and continued work on his doctorate. He received the Ph.D. from Michigan in 1934.

In 1946, Hubbell returned to Michigan as Curator of Insects in the Museum of Zoology and Professor of Zoology. Following the death of the Museum's Director in 1955, he was named Acting Director and then, in 1956, Director. He held the latter position until his retirement in 1968. His intellectual, organizational, and logistical contributions as Director are apparent in the Museum of Zoology even today. His most visible legacy is the unit's six-story laboratory research wing, which was principally funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, for which he served as Principal Investigator.

Hubbell received the University's Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 1967. He was the author of many articles on the systematics, distribution, and ecology of insects of the order Orthoptera, which includes crickets and grasshoppers. His extensive research expeditions took him to much of Europe and Latin America, as well as many parts of the United States. He was a member or fellow of more than a dozen professional societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Entomological Society of America, and Sigma Xi. He is survived by a sister, Harriett; a brother, George; three children, Roger, Mary Joan, and Stephen; and numerous intellectual progeny. A patient, kindly man, Hub's command of language and logic and his knowledge of biology made him a stimulating person with whom to explore ideas. The personnel of the Museum of Zoology miss him greatly.

William R. Dawson