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Warren “Herb” Wagner
Regents' Proceedings 264

Warren H. Wagner, Jr., professor of botany and curator of pteridophytes in the University Herbarium, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, and professor of natural resources in the School of Natural Resources, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 1991, completing 40 years of service to the University of Michigan.

After receiving his A.B. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942, Professor Wagner served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-46, earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950, and came to the University of Michigan as an instructor in 1951. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1954, associate professor in 1958, and professor in 1961; he served as director of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens for five years and as chair of the Department of Botany for three years.

Ferns and fern-allies have dominated Professor Wagner's research, although not to the exclusion of ragweeds, trees, and butterflies. No aspect of the evolution and systematics of pteridophytes has escaped his attention, but he may best be known for his research on their reproductive biology and its relationship to their evolutionary history. He was a pioneer in the development of a rational way of inferring phylogeny from the characteristics of extant species. Author or co-author of well over 200 research contributions, he has garnered many awards; among these are election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1990, election as Distinguished Senior Lecturer by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in 1986, and receipt of the Asa Gray Award from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists in 1990.

Professor Wagner has served on many University committees, has held offices in 15 national and international societies, has served on countless professional committees, has acted as a consultant to many other universities, and has participated tirelessly in meetings, symposia, and workshops. In 1980, the University honored Professor Wagner with its Amoco Outstanding Teacher Award, recognizing his extraordinary love of teaching and astonishing contribution to the education of undergraduates, graduate students, and laypeople. His hugely popular courses in systematic botany have opened doors for thousands of students. He chaired or co-chaired over 45 doctoral committees and served on over 230; his students have scattered all over the world and brought great credit to him and to Michigan. Moreover, his great humanity and incomparable gifts as a communicator have given him a reputation as a serious scientist who can make subjects comprehensible and fascinating to non-scientists.

The Regents now salute this distinguished faculty member for his many contributions by naming Warren H. Wagner, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Botany, Curator Emeritus of Pteridophytes, and Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources.