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Tribute to Dr. Rolf Ingermann

Dr. Rolf IngermannProfessor Rolf Ingermann, recently retired from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Idaho, passed away on May 6, 2012 in Moscow, Idaho. Rolf was born April 19, 1950 in Flensburg, Germany and as a child moved with his family to the United States, settling in Los Angeles, California. Rolf graduated from Downey High School and went on to UCLA where he earned a BA in Chemistry and Zoology (1972). He then attended the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, where he received his MS (1974) and a Ph.D. in Biology (1980). Rolf completed his postdoctoral work at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. He joined the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Idaho in 1986, was promoted to the rank of professor in 2002, and retired in 2011.

Rolf’s teaching specialties were comparative animal physiology and human physiology, and he served for many years as the health science advisor for all students on campus. He took great pride in guiding students along career paths in the health sciences. The area of research that Rolf focused on for much of his career was fish reproductive biology, particularly fish gamete physiology. Additionally, he was interested in respiratory physiology and worked with animals varying from the human to rattlesnakes. Shortly before his retirement Rolf’s lab developed a method and the equipment to perform computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) to study the biology of motile fish sperm. This work lead to the discovery of subpopulations of sperm within salmonids and other fishes, and this has become one of the “hot” new areas of research within the field of reproductive biology.

Rolf was a founding member of the Center for Reproductive Biology (CRB) when it began in 1996. He was a strong supporter of the CRB and participated in several large group grant submissions that resulted in multi-year support for CRB fish researchers. He regularly attended the CRB Annual Retreat to present his research and champion the efforts of his graduate students.

Rolf is survived by his wife Barbara, daughter Briana, and son Neil. He will be missed by the students he supervised and the staff and faculty he worked with at both the University of Idaho and Washington State University.