The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Andy Blaustein Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

February 3, 2017


Andrew Richard Blaustein was born in 1949 in Brooklyn, New York, and raised on Long Island. Interested in animals and insects as a boy, Blaustein majored in Biology while an undergraduate at Southampton College. During this time, Blaustein completed a research project on mammalian ecology that spurred in him an interest in pursuing graduate studies. Focusing on competition in heteromyic rodents, Blaustein completed his master's degree at the University of Nevada - Reno in 1973. From there, he pursued a Ph.D. at the University of California - Santa Barbara, where he studied disease ecologies in rodents. He finished his Santa Barbara doctorate in 1978.

Shortly after the conclusion of his studies at Santa Barbara, Blaustein accepted an appointment at Oregon State University as an instructor. When a tenure-track position in OSU's Zoology department became available one year later, Blaustein applied and was subsequently hired. In the years since, he has established himself as a leading scholar of animal behavior and chemical ecology, conducting important work on amphibian deformities and population declines, and on host-pathogen biology. Formerly the director of OSU's graduate program in Environmental Science, Blaustein is also a long-time editor of the journal Conservation Biology. In 2012, Blaustein was named an OSU Distinguished Professor, the highest honor that Oregon State grants to members of its faculty.