Date of this Version
Over the past 50 years Robert Rausch has been at the forefront of research on the systematics, taxonomy, biogeography, epidemiology, and pathology of helminth parasites in vertebrate hosts. Research programs and projects have continually emphasized the complex interface of parasitology, sylvatic distributions of pathogens in wild mammals, and public health, whether dealing with tapeworms such as Echinococcus or Diphyllobothrium or with nematodes such as Trichinella. Most meticulous in research, contributions by Dr. Rausch have been characterized by their innovative nature, depth and scope of detail, complete articulation and examination of hypotheses, and novel insights integrating parasites and parasitism within a broader context for the biosphere. His studies have had a significant impact on our understanding of the taeniid tapeworms, and particularly the systematics and biology of Echinococcus spp. and hydatid disease throughout the world. Dr. Rausch was instrumental in defining the ecological context for transmission of Echinococcus and the perpetuation of alveolar and cystic hydatid disease in northern communities. On a regional basis, parasites of rodents and carnivores in Alaska and the Arctic have represented a focus that has extended across his career. Most notable in this regard are investigations of the historical biogeography of Beringia that set the conceptual arena and defined the critical hypotheses for understanding this region at the crossroads of the Nearctic and Palearctic. These ideas continue to be examined today by research groups in North America and Europe. Over a distinguished career that continues with vitality today, Robert along with Virginia Rausch, his lifelong partner and colleague of 50 years, has contributed substantially to our knowledge in parasitology and mammalogy with over 280 papers in the literature.