ROBERT WAYNE ALLARD

September 3, 1919–March 25, 2003


BY MICHAEL T. CLEGG


ROBERT (“BOB”) WAYNE ALLARD made wide-ranging contributions to both basic and applied plant genetics. He began as a plant breeder and wrote one of the most successful plant-breeding texts of his era, but his most important contributions were in evolutionary genetics. He was a founder of experimental plant population genetics and he infused the field with high standards of experimental and theoretical rigor. His investigations ranged from elegant experiments to dissect the genetic factors responsible for quantitative genetic variation, to the study of gene-environment interactions, to the analysis of selection in long-term experimental barley populations. But his most significant work was encompassed in a series of papers on the genetics of inbreeding populations, where he overturned conventional dogma by showing that inbreeding plant populations have substantial levels of genetic variation. In the course of his work on inbreeding species, he turned to the characterization of the genetics of wild and naturalized species and contributed to the origins of the field of plant ecological genetics. He was also a teacher par excellence, training more than 50 Ph.D. students and an even larger number of postdoctoral students over a career that spanned more than



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