Marion W. Boesel, ESA Fellow (1943)

Dr. Marion Waterman Boesel (deceased 4 August 1992), professor emeritus in the Department of Zoology at Miami University (MU) in Oxford, OH, was elected as Fellow in 1943. He was an international authority on midges (Chironomidae), particularly biting midges (Ceratopogonidae).

Born 25 March 1901 in Columbus, OH, Boesel attended The Ohio State University (OSU) to study classical languages for his B.A. in 1925. His interest in Diptera began in his early twenties, prompting him to pursue a career in biology. He became an assistant in zoology and entomology at OSU from 1925–1926, and instructor in the Department of Zoology at MU (1928–1929) while pursing his M.A. in the life sciences in 1929 from OSU. After obtaining his master's degree, he became an assistant professor at MU from 1929–1941, spending a short stint at Cornell (1933–1934), and attaining his Ph.D. in 1939. He remained at MU throughout his career, becoming an associate professor in 1941, professor in 1948, and emeritus professor in 1971. He also held concurrent positions as assistant biologist with the State Conservation Division of Ohio from 1929–1931; assistant entomologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey from 1938–1939; and was part of the summer faculty, teaching entomology at the OSU Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory from 1940–1947.

At the university, Boesel's primary responsibility was teaching, including general zoology. FDA entomologist, John R. Gorham wrote, "Dr. Boesel's lectures were crystal clear and delivered entirely from memory, and his tests were the fairest I have ever encountered and were the product of endless revisionary improvement." Research took a backseat to teaching until Boesel retired in 1971, when he could devote all of his efforts to writing keys to both genera and species of midges, as well as studying the role of these flies as food sources for fish and as water quality indicators in streams. More than half of his scientific papers were published after he became emeritus.

Boesel was a Fellow of the Ohio Academy of Science and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Sigma honor societies. His 1983 paper, reviewing the genus Cricotopus (Chironomidae), won the Ohio Journal of Science's 1984 award for its best paper published that year. In 1988, honoring Boesel's years of service, MU named a conference room in the Biological Sciences building in his honor.

Boesel was married to Antoinette J. Press for nearly 58 years. They had a son, Dr. Carl P. Boesel, a specialist in neuropathology.

(updated June, 2015)