Dr. Tanner joined the faculty of the university’s Department of Zoology in 1947. He founded the graduate program in ecology in 1969, and from 1970 to 1974, he served as its director. He retired in 1979. He was a nationally known ornithologist and mathematical ecologist. Dover Publications republished his dissertation on The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker in 1966, and his Guide to the Study of Animal Populations was published in 1978. Two of his articles on ecology are considered classics. His last scholarly achievement was the completion of a valuable reference and guidebook, The Changing Ranges of Birds in Tennessee. He served as president of the Tennessee Ornithological Society and received its Distinguished Service Award. He was also executive secretary of the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association, a fellow of the Tennessee Academy of Science, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His papers are in Cornell University’s Special Collections Library. His intellectual contributions to the life of the university have been recognized by placement of a plaque in his honor on a faculty study.
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