Paul Reuben Elliker was born in 1911 in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. He received his B.S. (1934), M.S. (1935), and Ph.D. (1937) degrees in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin. He joined the faculty of Purdue University's Dairy Husbandry Department in 1940. During the years 1944-1945 Elliker served at Fort Detrick, Maryland in the United State Army's Biowarfare Group. In 1947 he was appointed a member of the faculty in the Bacteriology Department at Oregon State College. He taught at Oregon State until his retirement in 1976, serving as department chair from 1952-1976. His areas of research included germicides, bacterial viruses, aerobiology, nutrition of lactic acid bacteria, and psychrophilic bacteria.
Elliker received numerous awards for teaching and research, including the OSC Sigma Xi All Campus Research Award in 1952 and the American Dairy Science Borden Award in Dairy Manufacturing in 1954. He authored over 136 articles in publications such as the Journal of Dairy Science and the Journal of Milk and Food. He wrote several technical papers for the OSU Agricultural Experiment Station and was the author of Practical Dairy Bacteriology, published in 1949.
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