Leslie D. Gottlieb
New York City
Leslie David Gottlieb (1936–2012) was an American plant evolutionary biologist and an early advocate of the use of biochemical and molecular data in systematics.
Following a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1957, Gottlieb's career began at Oregon State University in the Botany and Plant Pathology Department. He earned a Master's degree in December 1965 with major professor Dr. Kenton Chambers and wrote a thesis on hybridization between species of manzanita in southwestern Oregon. He was a faculty member of the Department of Genetics at the University of California, Davis from 1965 until 1967. In 1968 he founded the Gottlieb Institute, and the following year he earned his PhD at the University of Michigan 1969 examined patterns of diversity and mechanisms of speciation in Stephanomeria before moving back to Colorado to see the completion of the Gottlieb Institute.
Gottlieb researched a broad array of subjects including plant speciation, polyploidy, biochemical evolution of isozymes and molecular genetics, and published more than 120 research papers and received a number of awards including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1975), and Fellowship of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1985). In 1993 he was named Alumni Association Fellow of Oregon State University. In 1965 he earned his Master's degree & wrote a thesis on hybridization between species of manzanita in southwestern Oregon.
Later Life & Death
During 2011, Leslie received treatment for pancreatic cancer and had a good period of recovery until the end of the year. Early in 2012 the cancer had returned and following complications associated with the disease, Leslie passed away on January 31, 2012.
Gottlieb has been described as: "one of the most influential plant evolutionary biologists over the past several decades."
The Leslie and Vera Gottlieb Research Fund in Plant Evolutionary Biology was established in 2006 to provide funds to graduate students to support both laboratory and field research in the evolutionary biology of plants native to western North America. This is a broad field that includes evolutionary and population genetics, systematics and phylogenetic studies, comparative analyses of development, and physiological and biochemical studies of plant adaptations. The Research Fund will provide an annual award of $5000.
The Research Fund will help many grad students initiate their own careers in science as well as providing new information and new ideas about plant evolution.
- Liston, Aaron (February 14, 2012). "LESLIE D. GOTTLIEB (1936-2012)". Botanical Electronic News (Victoria, British Columbia) (449). ISSN 1188-603X.