April 3, 1894-February 21, 1982


ALBERT JOYCE RIKER, one of the most distinguished plant pathologists in the United States during a career that spanned over four decades, will be remembered mostly by the leadership he provided in strengthening the field of forest pathology. He led through gentle persuasiveness. A mild and rather unobtrusive person in appearance, he was nevertheless stubbornly independent and extremely persistent in his quest for increased public funding for research on diseases that affect trees. He loved a challenge and, in fact, fame came early in his career when he doggedly questioned the opinions of senior, highly respected scientists. A man with a keen sense of the future of the profession of plant pathology, he assembled a large group of students and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin into an effective center for research in forest pathology, crown gall disease, and plant tissue culture. The pioneering research on crown gall and on plant tissue culture that he and his colleagues carried out for many years provided some of the basis for modern plant genetic engineering. He gave impetus to research on forest and shade tree diseases, an area that had remained neglected in this country in spite of its obvious importance to industry, recreation, and the urban environment. This research brought additional prestige to

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