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Marion Waterman Boesel (1901-1992)

Marion Waterman Boesel was an internationally recognized entomologist and authority on midges and biting midges.  He was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Zoology, Miami University, Oxford, OH, having been associated with the university for 43 years.  At age 83, he was given the award for the best paper published that year in The Ohio Journal of Science (1984).  For his years of service, a conference room in the Biological Sciences Building was named in his honor (1988).

Dr. Boesel attended Ohio State University, and as an undergraduate excelled in the classical languages, earning a BA in 1925.  He then decided to pursue life sciences at the graduate level, earning an M.A. in 1929, and a Ph.D. in 1939. He also attended Cornell University from1933-1934. Dr. Boesel's started his professional career at Ohio State University (1925-1926), but quickly moved to the Department of Zoology at Miami University.  At this institution, he was an instructor (1928-1929), assistant professor (1929-1941), associate professor (1941-1948), professor (1948-1971), and professor emeritus (1971-1992).  Concurrently, he held positions of assistant biologist, State Conservation Division of Ohio (1929-1931), assistant entomologist, State Natural History Service Division, IL (1938-1939), and was on the summer faculty of The Franz Theodore Stone Laboratory, OSU (1940-1947). 

Marion Boesel first became interested in the insect families that contain the midges and biting midges, the Chironomidae and Ceratopogonidae, when he was in his early 20s. However, he could not devote full time to this research until after retiring from 43 years of teaching in 1971.  His full- time work was the writing of keys to the genera and species and studying the organisms as a food source for fish and as indicators of water quality in streams. 

Dr. Boesel was a member of the honorary societies Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Sigma, and was a fellow in the Entomological Society of America and The Ohio Academy of Science.  John R. (Dick) Gorham, an entomologist with the Food and Drug Administration, writes that he had the good fortune to have Dr. Boesel as his instructor in General Zoology. "Even though quiet, soft spoken, and small in stature, Dr. Boesel inspired automatic respect.  Dr. Boesel's lectures were crystal clear and delivered entirely from memory, and his tests were the fairest I ever encountered and were the product of endless revisionary improvement . . . Dr. Boesel fulfilled in his day-to-day life the best connotations of the words friend, teacher, scientist and gentleman." (From "A Memorial to Dr. Marion W. Boesel," by Paul M. Daniel, chairman of the Faculty Memorial Committee, 1992).

Selected Papers

  • Ewers, L. A. and M. W. Boesel. 1935. The Food of Some Buckeye Lake Fishes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 65: 57-70
  • Boesel, M. W. 1938. The food of nine species of fish from the western end of Lake Erie. Transactions American Fisheries Society 67: 215-223.
  • Shelford, V. E. and M. W. Boesel. 1942. Bottom animal communities of the island area of western Lake Erie in the summer of 1937. Ohio Journal of Science.
  • Boesel, M. W and E. G. Snyder. 1944. Observations on the early stages and life history of the grass punky, Atrichopogon levis (Coquillett) (Diptera: Heleidae). Annals Entomological Society of America 37: 37-47.
  • Boesel, M. W. and C. M. Vaughn. 1951. A Method for Preparing Slide Mounts of Small Invertebrates. Science 11 May 1951: Vol. 113: 549
  • R. W. Winner, M. W. Boesel, and M. P. Farrell. 1980. Insect Community Structure as an Index of Heavy-Metal Pollution in Lotic Ecosystems. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 37(4): 647–655 (1980)
  • Boesel, M. W. 1973. The Genus Atrichopogon (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) in Ohio and Neighboring States. Ohio Journal of Science 73: 202-215.
  • Boesel, M. W. 1977. Observations on the Coelotanypodini of the northeastern states, with keys to the known stages (Diptera: Chironomidae). J. Kansas Ent. Soc. 47: 417-432.
  • Boesel, M. W. 1977. A method for converting dry mounts of midges into slide mounts. Entomol. News. 88(5-6): 145-147.
  • M. W. Boesel and R. W. Winner. 1980. Corynoneurinae of the northeastern United States, with a key to adults and observations on their occurrence in Ohio (Diptera: Chironomidae). J. Kansas Ent. Soc. 53: 501-508.
  • Winner, R. W., M. W. Boesel, M. W. and M. P. Farrell, M. P. 1980. Insect community structure as an index of heavy-metal pollution in a lotic ecosystem. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 37(4): 647-655.
  • Boesel, M. W. 1983. A brief review of the genus Cricotopus in Ohio, USA with a key to the adults of the northeastern USA (Diptera: Chironomidae). Ohio J. Sci. 83: 74-90.
  • Boesel, M. W. 1985. A brief review of the genus Polypedilum in Ohio, USA with keys to known stages of species occurring in northeastern USA (Diptera: Chironomidae). Ohio J. Sci. 85(5): 245-262.
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