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Gustaaf A. and Ineke C. M. de Zoeten Student Travel Award

The Gustaaf A. and Ineke C. M. de Zoeten Student Travel Award was made possible by a gift from Dr. de Zoeten.


Gustaff A. de Zoeten

Dr. Gustaaf A. de Zoeten was born in 1934 in Tjepoe, Indonesia. Following the World War II invasion of Indonesia by the Japanese, he spent the following four years in a concentration camp. At the end of the war his family moved to the Netherlands, where he resumed his education. In 1957, he received his degree as a candidate in horticulture and entomology at the State Agricultural University in Wageningen, and received his M.S. degree in horticulture, plant pathology, and organic chemistry at that university in 1960. He then moved to the University of California-Davis (UCD), where he earned his Ph.D. degree in plant pathology and Botany in 1965, followed by post-doctoral studies at the University of California-Berkeley, through 1967. de Zoeten passed away on February 1, 2004.

Dr. de Zoeten had a highly varied and productive career. He accepted a position in 1967 as assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM), teaching and doing research on plant viruses, and progressed through the rank of full professor. Studies during his doctoral research, and continuing into his position at the University of Wisconsin, involved ultrastructural investigations of plant virus infection, development, and host resistance. As a result of these studies, Dr. de Zoeten became well recognized as an authority on plant ultrastructure and electron microscopy. This expertise was recognized early through the Student Achievement Award for Electron Microscopy at UCD, and shortly after his arrival at the University of Wisconsin, by receipt of an NIH Career Development Award. His studies on plant ultrastructure and virology evolved into studies on molecular plant virology. He was aided in these studies by numerous associates, including 8 M.Sc. students, 10 Ph.D. candidates, and 10 post-doctoral fellows. He received funding for his studies from many sources. Dr. de Zoeten accepted a position as visiting scientist at the Friederich Miescher Institute of CIBA-GEIGY in Basel, Switzerland (1987–1988). In 1989, he accepted a new position as chair of the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, MI. He served in that position until 2000, and was much beloved and respected by faculty and students. This position, while mostly administrative, enabled his continuation of research; this research concentrated mostly on the molecular biological aspects of infection, structure, and development of pea enation mosaic virus. In 1992, Dr. de Zoeten was made a Fellow of The American Phytopathological Society, and in 1995, he accepted an invitation to spend a month at the Rockefeller Study Center at Bellagio, Italy. Dr. de Zoeten served as professor emeritus both at UWM and at MSU.

As part of his professional service, Dr. de Zoeten served on several committees at the University of Wisconsin, was a member of both the Virology Committee (chair, 1981–1982) and the New Projects Committee of APS, organized the virology program for the 1976 (Kansas City) APS Annual Meeting, and served as associate editor of both Phytopathology and Virology. He also served on national and international committees, provided many consultancies, and presented numerous national and international lectures. He was an author on more than 100 published scientific papers.

Ineke C. M. de Zoeten was born Ineke Okma, in Oss, the Netherlands, in 1936. She received the Candidate Degree in Dutch Law from the University of Utrecht and married Gustaaf de Zoeten in 1962. She was extremely supportive of Gustaaf throughout his career and served as an extraordinary and frequent hostess to his students and faculties of the departments with which he was associated. She died following a brief illness in 2000 and was memorialized through contributions from many friends with a Magnolia tree planted immediately behind the Plant Biology Building in the Horticulture Demonstration Garden of Michigan State University.