Obituary: Rudolf Schuster, professor emeritus of Botany
Born in Altmühldorf, Germany, he immigrated to the United States in 1930 with his parents and brother and settled in New York City. He became an American citizen in 1937.
He was a student at Stuyvesant High School, where science and mathematics were emphasized. He studied at Cornell University where he earned his bachelors and masters degrees in entomology. He then studied at the University of Minnesota, majoring in entomology with a minor in botany, and earned his doctorate.
His academic career as a professor and researcher spanned many decades and his focus shifted from study of insects to study of hepatics, or liverworts – tiny moss-like plants. His first teaching appointment was at the University of Minnesota, followed by stints at the University of Mississippi, Duke University and the University of Michigan.
The International Association for Plant Taxonomy awarded him the Engler Medal in Silver for 1992 for this work. His Austral Hepaticae, with two volumes published and two underway, based on personal fieldwork in the Southern Hemisphere over four decades, are noted references for the hepatic flora in lands once part of the ancient supercontinent of Gondwanaland.
He leaves his wife, Marlene, and her daughter Joan, extended family in Washington state; and his daughters from his first marriage, Erica Watson, Hilde McNeil and her husband Marvin; a granddaughter and two great-grandchildren, Andrew and Sidney.
A memorial service is being planned for a later date.