Services are pending for founding UW-Green Bay environmental sciences faculty member Dr. Ganga Nair, who died Wednesday (March 10). We will share details when they become available.
However, we offer this tribute written by Prof. Robert Howe , director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at UW-Green Bay, about his friend and colleague:“Emerson once said that ‘An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.’ UW-Green Bay is the product of many influential men and women, but the influence of Dr. Ganga Nair will enrich this institution for many years beyond this day of his passing. Dr. Nair’s passion and kindness have touched the lives of many people at all levels, including students, staff, faculty, policy-makers, and even their families. He was an inspiring, demanding and sometimes unconventional teacher, attracting a following of students who in many cases have advanced to successful careers in science and conservation. Those who worked with him regularly knew that his lively personality expressed a genuine love of life and concern for others. We will miss him profoundly.
As a scientist, Dr. Nair worked with diseases of plants, especially those of economic importance. He and his colleagues discovered the cause of canker disease in Butternut (Juglans cinerea), a native North American tree that is today listed as an endangered species in Canada. Together with earlier studies of oak wilt and related infections, his research fostered contributions to plant conservation around the world, including ongoing studies of diseases (and potential prevention strategies) in coconuts, eucalyptus, sandalwood, pears, citrus trees, and ginseng. He served on advisory committees for the United Nations’ International Union of Forestry Research Organizations and other international groups, and in 1982 he was elected as a fellow to the National Academy of Sciences of India. Although he retired in 2009 after 40 years of service to UW-Green Bay, Dr. Nair continued to mentor students and participate in the international scientific community until the day of his untimely death.”