All Press Releases for March 20, 2019

Robert Kingston Vickery Jr., Ph.D., Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Dr. Vickery has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the education industry

Robert Kingston Vickery Jr.'s Ph.D. research and subsequent work pioneered using [u]Mimulus[/u] as an experimental organism.

    SALT LAKE CITY, UT, March 20, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Robert Kingston Vickery Jr., Ph.D., with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Vickery celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

First grade found him attending a Montessori type school in Rome, Italy where his Dad had gone on business. The other kids were learning to read, but he grew plants in a big planter box-¬foreshadowing the future? They returned to California in 1929 for a year in Saratoga before settling in Berkeley.

This Berkeley boy went to Stanford. He majored in Art as a prelude to Architecture. The summer before, for experience, with his Dad's guidance, he designed and built a summer home for the family at Saratoga. With World War II loominghe shifted to Structural Engineering. For this major he needed a year of Chemistry quick. Cal, which was just down the street from home, offered a whole year of Chemistry taught by the legendary Dr. Hildebrand in the summer semester. Cal's summer semester overlapped Stanford's Fall quarter, so he had a very busy two weeks going to both universities at once.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corp Cadet program-Basic Training at Boca Raton, Florida and Technical Communications training at Yale. The Cal and Yale units enabled him to graduate with his class of '44. The Air Corps sent this newly minted 2nd Lt. to run the Communications Detachment on Molokai, Hawaii and then on the invasion of Iwo lima. He watched the famous flag going up on Mt. Suribachi and heard the great shout that went up with it! His job was running the 3 control towers-he actually built 2 of them. He was flown home on a stretcher-TB, not shrapnel. The only known cure for this number one killer those days was bed rest. He spent a year recuperating. With much time to think, he realized his greatest interests were in plants.
He returned to Stanford and earned a Masters in Botany and a Ph.D. in Plant Genetics and Evolution. His Ph.D. research and subsequent work pioneered using Mimulus as an experimental organism.

In 1952, with credentials in hand, he joined the Biology Faculty of the University of Utah. Research, teaching and service were expected.

For research, he built on his PhD studies at the Carnegie Institution's Plant Research Laboratory using Mimulus guttatus for hybridization studies. Early on he did a post-doc with Fritz Went at Cal Tech using the phytotron to study the ranges of climate tolerance of different populations of Mimulus. Over the years with the help of 30-some graduate students they have established experimental studies of Mimulus' genetic, ecologic and evolutionary relationships as a special field of research study. Now there are scores of scientists in the Mimulus studies field worldwide.

He taught General Biology, Field Botany, Genetics and Evolution. Previously, 1950-1951, he had taught General Botany and Plant Taxonomy at Pomona College. In 1961 he was Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard and taught General Botany and a graduate course in Plant Evolution. In 1972, he won the University of Utah's Distinguished Teaching award and in 1988 the University Professorship award (see photo of portrait). The latter award enabled him to take his Evolution classes-5 years running-to South America and out to the Galapagos Islands to see for themselves what Darwin was talking about.

He served as Chairman of the Genetics Department 1962-1965. He served on innumerable committees including the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate. His whole academic career was at the University of Utah except for 1 semester at Pomona College and 1 at Harvard.

He married Marcia Hoak (Stanford '51). They have two sons, David (Stanford '74) and Peter (University of Colorado '77). Peter has a daughter, Mei, aged 9.

In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Dr. Vickery has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit for more information about this honor.

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