Founding faculty member, infectious disease expert Dr. Don Forrester dies

Dr. Don Forrester

Dr. Don Forrester

Dr. Don Forrester, a founding member of the college faculty and a leading researcher in the area of wildlife and infectious diseases, has passed away.

Forrester retired from the college’s department of infectious diseases and immunology, then known as the department of infectious diseases and pathology, in 2003 and became a professor emeritus soon after. He was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and received graduate degrees in wildlife and zoology from the University of Montana and the University of California/Davis in 1960 and 1967, respectively. He worked for two years on the faculty at Clemson University before joining the UF faculty in 1969, moving to become part of the newly formed College of Veterinary Medicine in 1976.

His research focus was the epizootiology of parasites of wildlife, and he worked throughout his career to address parasites and diseases of wildlife and domestic animals in cooperation with state and federal wildlife agencies, sea mammal aquaria, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the Florida Division of Health, private veterinary practitioners and miscellaneous private cooperators.

He taught many courses, including Introduction to Wildlife Diseases to upper level undergraduate students and graduate students, mostly wildlife majors, and Veterinary Parasitology to second-year veterinary students. The first time he taught the course was to the college’s Charter Class, the Class of 1980, in 1976.  Students from that class elected him as their “Teacher of the Year” in 1978.

Among the many other professional honors Forrester received while at UF were a three-year UF Research Foundation Professorship in 1998 and the college’s Distinguished Service Award in 2004.

Forrester’s full obituary is here.

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