Ivan Thomason 1925-2008


Dr. Ivan James Thomason was born in Burney, CA June 27, 1925. Ivan spent his youth in Davis, CA .  He attended Davis Joint Union High School followed by the University of California Davis where he graduated in Plant Science/Agronomy in 1943.  He served in the Army Corp of Engineers in the South Pacific during WWII from 1943-1947. Later he attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he completed his MS and PhD in Plant Pathology.

In 1954, he was appointed in the Department of Plant Pathology of the University of California Riverside Agricultural Experiment Station. Ivan served UCR in research, education, public service and university administration for 35 years before retiring in 1989.  His research emphasized nematodes of field crops and the development of plants with resistance to nematodes. A very valuable contribution was his development of a pest management program for the sugarbeet cyst nematode in the Imperial Valley of California which was effectively utilized by growers and sugar producers.  He was a strong supporter of nematology research at UCR and in the development of the Department of Nematology at UCR.  He served as chair of that department from 1962-1969.  He was an excellent mentor to new faculty, postdoctoral fellows and to graduate students from around the world. He was one of several faculty and administrators who conceived and initiated the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program.  He served as a Cooperative Extension Statewide IPM Director from 1976-1982. While in this position he had overseas experiences involving pest management  in Southeast Asia, Australia, Argentina, Egypt, South Africa, and Morocco.  He served as Vice President and President of the Society of Nematologists from 1974-1976 and became a Fellow of the Society in 1983.

Between his retirement and his death at age 82 on January 26, 2008, Ivan was at Emeritus Professor of Nematology and Plant Pathology, University of California Riverside. 

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