Pavlista retires from Panhandle R&E Center
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Alexander Pavlista’s retirement from the faculty of the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center at the end of March marks the end of 50 years of continuous research, 29 of them at the Panhandle Center.
Pavlista knew he wanted to be a scientist at an early age. He was 13 and knew he wanted to do scientific research, 15 when he picked biology, 21 when he chose biomedical research over oceanography. He chose plant physiology, and by age 30 knew he wanted to use science in the service of agriculture.
Born in Praha, Czechoslovakia, he left the country in 1948 when his parents escaped the Communist regime there and migrated to the U.S. Growing up in New York City, he attended Manhattan College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in biology with minors in chemistry and theology.
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In retirement, Alex and Victoria will be living in Denver, relaxing with puzzles, games, and reading; staying active by skiing, swimming and walking and writing. He also has been granted emeritus status by the promotion and tenure committee in the UNL Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.
One of Pavlista’s “bucket list” goals is writing a book, tentatively titled “From Plants to God.” The book will outline research in plant sciences that has altered theological concepts of the time.
The book will begin with Aristotle, the philosopher and scientist of ancient Greece, who is credited with the birth of plant physiology. In the first recorded experiment in plant physiology, Aristotle was able to disprove the popular idea that life was produced by ether, some divine force that existed in air.
The book will end with botanist and plant physiologist F.C. Steward, who in the 1950s conducted experiments on carrots to demonstrate that plant cells are totipotent – that they carry the genetic information to enable them to develop into complete, reproducing individual plants. This was a key step in demonstrating the feasibility of cloning, according to Pavlista. ❖
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Pavlista, Alexander [MC????]
# – # – # – # – # 2017-Apr-07 @ 11:15
I believe that Alexander is a member of the Class of 1968.
McEneney, Mike (MC1953)
[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]
Pavlista, Alexander [MC1968]
# – # – # – # – # 2017-Apr-13 @ 22:51