Marilyn D. Bachmann

Honored by:Roger Bachmann and the Biology Department
Brick location:C:24 and PAVER:14  map

Honored by Roger Bachmann

Marilyn Davidson Bachmann was born in Hammond, Indiana on August 21, 1933, and graduated from George Rogers Clark High School. She received her BS from Ball State Teacher's College (now Ball State University) and taught biology at Hammond High School for 3 1/2 years. Her MA and PhD degrees were earned from the University of Michigan, with majors in biology and zoology. Her doctoral research concerned maternal behavior in the red-backed salamander. She married Roger Bachmann of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1960. They had two children, David (b. 1962) and Carol (b. 1963) prior to moving to Ames in 1963 when Roger was appointed as an assistant professor in the Department of Zoology and Entomology.

While the children were small, Marilyn worked part time as a research associate in the Department of Genetics, where she did collaborative research on corn chloroplasts with Dr. Donald Robertson. This resulted in several publications in international journals. In 1968, she started teaching in the new Biology Program, first as a part-time instructor and over the years worked her way up to a full professorship in the Department of Animal Ecology. She taught introductory biology courses to thousands of students over a period of 25 years and also served as advising coordinator for Biology for most of that time. She received an "Excellence in Advising Award" from the then-College of Sciences and Humanities for these efforts.

Marilyn continued her research in vertebrate ecology and became a full member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Animal Ecology. She and her graduate students authored many professional publications in the areas of behavioral ecology and amphibian biology. Her departmental teaching included herpetology, and her graduate course in behavioral ecology was probably the first such titled course to be offered in an American university.

Marilyn was invited to join the Osborn Research Club at ISU and was elected to serve a term as president of that organization in 1992. She also served on the board of directors of the Iowa Academy of Science and for several years was the co-editor for the Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science.

In addition to her professional work in biology, Marilyn has a strong love for animals. She and Roger lived on an acreage northwest of Ames where she raised horses, dogs, cats, and assorted ducks, geese, chickens and a peacock. Her dogs won several obedience titles, and two of her collies became show ring champions. She was an active member and long-time treasurer of the Cyclone Country Kennel Club.

Her son, David, graduated from Iowa State University in computer science and later earned his PhD in the same subject at the University of Michigan. He now works for IBM in Austin, Texas. Her daughter, Carol, was also a Cyclone with a degree in chemical engineering. She married a fellow engineer and now works for 3M in St Paul, Minnesota, and has two children, Nathan and Katarina.

In June of 1993, Marilyn was appointed as a professor emeritus when she and her husband took early retirement to move on to other opportunities in Gainesville, Florida. She is a research professor at the University of Florida and is developing an interest in raising palm trees and other tropical vegetation.


Honored by the Biology Department

Paver Inscription:

Barb Pleasants
Lilian Johnson
Marilyn Bachmann
Chris Minor"