1888 earns Masters, PhD, works as mycologist at Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
1891 returns to Harvard as assistant professor of cryptogamicbotany, holds an ascending series of posts
Most of Thaxter's writings are on parasitic fungi (and Oomycetes), writing a monograph on the Entomophthoraceae (parasitic on insects), and a series of 26 papers on the Laboulbeniales (also on insects) that stretched from 1890 to 1931. No one had ever noticed the Laboulbeniales before, so in a way he gets credit for the entire Order. Lloyd has a cute bit of text accompanying the photo you see, wondering what it's like to be The Man for a large group of fungi that no one else in the world knows anything about. They are really Thaxter's baby, and we're lucky that the person who discovered them was such a careful worker, as they have many different forms, male and female organs, and many other unusual features. Maybe I will snag some of his famous illustrations for inclusion in this site.
He also, in his brief career as a plant pathologist (at Connecticut), determined and described the cause of potato scab (Oospora scabies, an Oomycete), onion smut (Urocystis cepulae) and the mildew of lima beans (Phytophthora phaseoli, also an Oomycete). His doctoral dissertation was on Gymnosporangium, one of the major rust genera. Isley quotes W. H. Weston's obituary of Thaxter in Phytopatology as saying that he had an even greater impact on that field by training so many of its practitioners.
He took many collecting trips: to Europe; the Caribbean; and South America, especially Chile, which he explored all the way down to the tip of the continent. He was co-curator of the Farlow Cryptogamic Herbarium, and his personal collections are there now.
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