Date of this Version
Gerald D. Schmidt was born March 12, 1934 in Greeley, Colorado. After finishing his undergraduate degree in Biology at Colorado College in Greeley (now the University of Northern Colorado) Dr. Schmidt went on to receive his masters degree from Colorado State University (CSU) in 1962 and his Ph.D. in 1964 also from CSU. While At CSU he worked under Dr. O. W. Olsen, first on the helminth parasites of the common snipe, and then, for his doctorate, he studied the embryological development of the Acanthocephala. He became a member of the faculty of UNC in Greeley In 1966. His collaboration with Dr. R. E. Kuntz of the US NAMRU-2 in Taiwan on long-term studies of zoonoses resulted in a large number of publications which increased our knowledge of the biodiversity of the South Pacific region. His many masters and doctoral students have dispersed to all points of the globe and many continue to publish on biodiversity and the systematics of parasites. The thorny-headed worms were his primary focus of study and, despite a lack of institutional support at UNC for such a scientist, he published more than 160 articles in systematics and parasitology. Included in this extensive series are the books Essentials of Parasitology (Wm. C. Brown. 1988), How to Know the Tapeworms (Brown Co., 1970), Handbook of Tapeworm Identification (CRC Press, 1986) and Foundations of Parasitology (with Larry Roberts, Mosby, 1989, four editions.). He was also editor of an influential and forward-looking book entitled Problems in Systematics of Parasites (University Park Press, 1969). Gerald D. Schmidt was honored for his achievements in science and systematics of parasites at a young age by the American Society of Parasitologists with the Henry Baldwin Ward medal and was a board member of the World Federation of Parasitologists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Australia. As a professor at the University of Northern Colorado, he established the local chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and served as its first president; he was also a co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Parasitologists. He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the American Society of Parasitologists during a period of financial and structural rebuilding of the society from 1982-1987. He also served as a co-editor for Systematic Parasitology from 1980 until his death. Gerald was a scholar, teacher and friend. His enthusiasm for the helminths was without limit. He was always ready to relay an interesting parasitological story and his story-telling ability is evident in his book Foundations. His great sense of subtle, dry humor and his joy of reciting a new “limerick” were a part of his personality. Science, the field of parasitology and his friends will always remember him. Dr. Gerald D. Schmidt died on October, 16, 1990, at the age of 56.