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December 5th, 2007
Michael Forstner named first Chair of Genetics at Texas State

From Texas State University

Michael Forstner, a professor in the biology department at Texas State University, has been named the inaugural holder of the Alexander/Stone Chair of Genetics. Forstner will hold the endowed biology chair for a six-year term.

“Dr. Mary Alexander was a genetics professor in biology here, and way back when, she taught an undergraduate zoology major by the name of Mike Forstner,” Forstner explained. “I held out a long time to take her genetics course, because it was my biggest interest other than chasing snakes.

“Dr. Alexander left an endowment to the university to establish this chair,” he said. “It was her desire to help ensure that genetics research would prosper in this department in the future. She invested in that future.”

Forstner’s areas of research include vertebrate systematics and population genetics. The majority of his projects comprise genetic and physical surveys of endangered or threatened species, including ongoing work with the endangered Houston Toad.

Forstner came to Texas State in 1999 from Florida Atlantic University. He earned his bachelor’s in zoology from Texas State in 1988, his masters from Sul Ross State in 1991 and his Ph.D. in genetics from Texas A&M University in 1995.

The professorship is named for the late Alexander, a former Texas State professor whose work included stints at the Oak Ridge and Brookhaven national laboratories, and for the late William Stuart Stone, a former University of Texas vice chancellor who had previously worked of agencies such as the Atomic Energy Commission and the National Institutes of Health.

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