Department of Zoology
Professor Richard Roksabro Kudo, eminent and pioneering protozoologist, who offered the first university course in protozoology (i.e., "Father of Protozoology"), was a Japanese national. He earned a Doctor of Science degree in agricultural science from the University of Tokyo. In 1909 he began his studies of the protozoa, and in the fall of 1915 journeyed to the United States and eventually was offered a faculty position with the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1918. He never returned to Japan. During his tenure in academia he produced 5 editions of his monumental work, "Handbook of Protozoology," later shortened to "Protozoology." Under his supervision, 23 students earned Master's degrees and 15 students earned a Doctorate. He was particularly fascinated by the myxosporidian parasites of fishes and the giant amoebae of the genus Pelomyxa (multinucleate forms). He published over 70 papers and books, including an incredible 750 reviews.
Kudo was a talented scientific illustrator and water-color artist. He enjoyed professional baseball and played softball well into his 70s. After retirement from a long career (over 30 years) at the University of Illinois, he came to SIUC in 1958 as a Visiting Professor and contributed in many major ways to the life of the SIUC Department of Zoology until his death in 1967. Annually, beginning in 1975, the Department has recognized students with the most outstanding thesis or dissertation with the Richard R. Kudo Memorial Award. An obituary and bibliography of Kudo (written by Harvey I. Fisher) is available in the Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 60(4):329-336.
Last updated: 1-June-2017 / ghw