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Memoir

Richard D. Alexander
Regents' Proceedings 174

Richard D. Alexander, Ph.D., Theodore H. Hubbell Distinguished
University Professor of Evolutionary Biology, professor of biology, and
curator of insects, Museum of Zoology, in the College of Literature, Science,
and the Arts, will retire from active faculty status on December 31, 2000,
after a most productive career as a teacher and researcher.

Professor Alexander earned his B.S. degree from Illinois State Normal
University in 1950 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State
University in 1951 and 1956, respectively. He joined the University of
Michigan faculty in 1957 as an instructor in zoology and curator of insects.
He was promoted to assistant professor in 1959, associate professor in 1963,
and professor in 1966. He was the Donald Ward Tinkle Professor of
Evolutionary Biology from 1984-89 and was named the Theodore H.
Hubbell Distinguished University Professor of Evolutionary Biology in
1989. He served as director of the Museum of Zoology from 1993-98.

Professor Alexander's research has centered on acoustical
communication, sexual behavior, speciation, and life history analysis of
singing insects. Early in his career, he distinguished himself by using sound
communication as a basis for understanding evolutionary patterns within
crickets. In recent years, Professor Alexander has devoted considerable
effort to the analysis of the evolutionary basis of human behavior. His
human studies have been designed to test whether the most difficult
questions that can be formulated are approachable from an evolutionary
perspective. He has also studied the social behavior of naked mole rats and
horses. With his graduate students, he studied speciation in 17-year and 13-
year cicadas and the evolution of insect mating behavior.

In addition to numerous articles on entomology and the role of
evolution in human behavior, Professor Alexander is author of Darwinism
and Human Affairs (1979) and The Biology of Moral Systems (1987) and
co-editor of Natural Selection and Social Behavior: Recent Research and
New Theory (1981) and The Biology of the Naked Mole Rat (1991). He was
elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and has received the
American Association for the Advancement of Science Newcomb Cleveland
Prize and the NAS Alfred Giraud Elliot Medal. In 1989, he was the
University of Michigan Henry Russel Lecturer.

The Regents salute this distinguished scholar by naming Richard
D. Alexander the Theodore H. Hubbell Distinguished University Professor
Emeritus of Evolutionary Biology, professor emeritus of biology, and
curator emeritus of insects.