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Biographical Sketch: Gil Leisman
Steve Manchester

Friday, February 15, 2002 03:01:42 PM

Biographical Sketch: Gil Leisman

Professor. Gilbert Arthur Leisman

Gilbert Leisman was born in Washington, D.C. on 12 May 1924. He served in the Army Air Force as a navigator in the European Theater during World War II. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1949 with a major in botany. After completing the M.S. in 1952 and a Ph. D. in 1955 at the University of Minnesota, he became a member of the biology faculty of the Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia (now Emporia State University) in September 1955 and served in that position until retirement in 1989.

Although his doctoral dissertation was in plant ecology, by the time Dr. Leisman arrived at Emporia his research interest had shifted to paleobotany. During his tenure at Emporia State University he maintained an active and internationally recognized research program in paleobotany which primarily focused on plant fossils found in coal balls which were collected from the southeastern corner of Kansas. He authored numerous publications, some of which described materials new to science. Throughout his career he was an active participant in numerous professional organizations such as American Institute of Biological Science, Botanical Society of America, and Kansas Academy of Science. He was elected President of the latter organization in 1968 and served in other official capacities during the sixties and seventies. In 1966 he was elected president of the Paleobotanical Section of the Botanical Society of America and also previously served as secretary-treasurer. In 1986 Dr. Leisman received a recogntion award from the Paleobotanical Section of the Botanical Society of America for his many contributions to paleobotanical research. During sabbatical leaves in the sixties and seventies he was appointed honorary research associate at the University of London and research associate of the Geological Survey of Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Leisman died in Emporia, Kansas on 19 November 1996. A generous bequest from Dr. Leisman and his wife Marie was received by the Paleobotanical Section in October, 2000.

Posted 12/8/00 4:17 pm By Steve Manchester

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