A Guide to the Genetics Collections at the APS
Major Collections

Ernst W. Caspari Papers

b. Oct. 24, 1909, Berlin, Germany. Married Hermine B. Abraham, 1938. Naturalized U.S. citizen, 1944. U. Göttingen, Ph.D., zool., 1933. Asst. zool., U. Göttingen, 1933-35. Asst., microbiol., U. Istanbul, 1935-38. Lafayette Coll. fellow biol., 1938-41; asst. prof., 1941-44. U. Rochester, asst. prof zool., 194445; res. assoc., 1945-46. Wesleyan U., assoc. prof. biol., 1946-47. Carnegie Inst. of Washington, Dept. of Genetics, Cold Spring Harbor, res. assoc. genetics, 1947-49. Wesleyan U., prof. biol., 1949-60. U. Rochester, prof. biol., 1960-75; chmn. dept., 1960-65; emer. prof., Center for Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford U., 1956-57, 1965-66. Guest prof., U. Giessen, Inst. Genetics, 1975-76.

Amer. Men & Women of science; World Who's Who in Science, 308.

Incomplete bibliography in Collected Papers.

Wesleyan U., M.A. (hon.). Member, Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, Amer. Acad. Arts & Sci., 1957. Alexander von Humboldt Found. Sr. Scientist Award, 1981-82. Dobzhansky Mem. Award, Res. in Behav. Genetics. Amer. Soc. Naturalists, hon. memb.

Genetics Soc. Amer., treas. 1951-53; v. pres., 1965; pres., 1966. Amer. Soc. Naturalists, v. pres., 1961. Chair. Program Corn. & memb. Gen. Organiz. Com., International Congr. Genetics X (Montreal, 1958).

Advances in Genetics, vols. 10-21, 1960-1982. Genetics 1968-1972.

The Caspari Papers
The collection, in 19 boxes, consists primarily of correspondence post-1938, but includes also a significant series relating to the foundation and publication of the series Advances in Genetics under the editorship of M. Demerec and the publisher, Academic Press. The collection includes mss. of some of Caspari's papers and notes for his lectures on developmental genetics. There are many grant reports of his supported research on the moth Ephestia. Caspari's interests, not only in genetics and general biology, but especially in behavioral genetics and evolution, are reflected. The collection is arranged alphabetically by author or corporate entry.

The field of research to which Ernst Caspari devoted himself during his predoctoral training was the genetics of a pleiotropic gene in the mealmoth Ephestia kuhniella. During his postdoctoral years at the University of Göttingen he explored the physiological and developmental action of such genes. This fruitful beginning was seriously interrupted by Nazi anti-Semitism, which forced Caspari to emigrate from Germany in 1933. He first went to the University of Istanbul, where he was restricted to research on problems of disease transmission by mosquitoes and bedbugs. In 1938 he was finally able to come to the United States, where he received a fellowship at Lafayette College, and later became an assistant professor of biology. During this period he began working on various problems of mouse genetics, in collaboration with L.C. Dunn and one of Dunn's graduate students, Paul R. David, at Columbia University. The behavioral effects of the kinky tail mutant caught his interest and foreshadowed his prolonged devotion to behavioral genetics. At Lafayette College Caspari also renewed his investigations of the genetics of Ephestia, especially in respect to the biochemical aspects of the aa eye color mutant.

In 1944 Caspari moved to the University of Rochester, to work in collaboration with Curt Stern and other geneticists on a program supported by the Manhattan Project, the secret wartime program that led to the development of the atomic bomb. The Rochester group was commissioned to investigate the influence of chronic irradiation by low doses of gamma rays on the mutation rates of genes in the fruitfly Drosophila.

Upon moving to Wesleyan University in 1946, Caspari resumed his studies of the genetics of Ephestia, especially the biochemical effects of certain mutants, the nature of cytoplasmic (maternal) inheritance, and the behavioral effects of mutants. During a two-year stay at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Genetics at Cold Spring Harbor, Caspari collaborated with various investigators to determine the protein differences between the wildtype a+a+ genotype and the aa mutant genotype of Ephestia (as well as another moth Ptychopoda seriata). He also investigated antibody formation in caterpillars and mitochondrial differences in genetic strains of mice. Back at Wesleyan University in 1949, he continued his researches on pleiotropic effects, especially behavioral effects, as well as developmental and protein differences, cytoplasmic inheritance, gene modifiers, and evolutionary effects such as selective differentials. His increasing interest in behavioral genetics led him to spend a year (1956-57) at the Center for Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Upon moving to the University of Rochester in 1960 and assuming the editorship Advances in Genetics as well as the head of the Department of Biology, Caspari found his research activities more and more restricted. Nevertheless, there was fruitful collaboration with a visiting German colleague, H. J. Pohley, on somatic mutations induced by purine analogues and on interactions between the endocrine system and developing tissues in Ephestia. Caspari became increasingly involved in behavior genetics as he developed a refresher course for the American Society of Zoologists in 1964, and spent another year at the Center at Stanford University in 1965-66. Much correspondence relates to the editorship of Genetics during the years 1968-72, and to Caspari's service on the preparatory committees for the 10th and 14th International Congresses of Genetics.

Detailed finding aid

Selected files
View the key to abbreviations

Academic Press 257: 1946-80 PB, BDIT

Advances in Genetics 612: 1 94479 PB, IV, BDIT, G

Ahuja, M.R (RA) 38:1975-79 RA, BD, TR, RC

Amer, Inst, Biol, Scii, 35:1960-68 SO (AIBS), TR, visit. lect.

Amer. Soc. Natural. 67: 1960-64 SO (ASN, nom. c., hon. memb.)

Anders, F. 51:1974-80 G, TR, ICG, U. Giessen visit. prof., HC, CCT, BD

Braun, J.W. 92: 1914-72 BD, BCG, RS (U.S. Army Chem. Corps)

Caspari, E.C. MSS, lect. notes, drafts: 1964-79 & n.d.  

Champlin, A.K. (GS) 27: 1965-79 GS, MG, BG, BD

Chatard, Patricia (GS) 53:1966-69 RA, UR, EM, BC, BD

Cold Spring Harbor Lab. 86:1959-66 SO, CSH Ed Dir.

Cotter, W. B. 51:1956-77 G (Ephestia), BD, U. Ky, TR

Dalton, H. C. 59: 1948-70 G (Ephestia), EM, BD, PB, CS, NYU, CSH

Demerec, M 80: 1946-63 CSH, PB, RG, PRS

Dobzhansky, Th. 36:1961-71 G, EV, PB, TR, BG, BDIT, BD

Dunn, L,C, 71:1939-71 MG, G, BDIT, PB, RC, BD

Egelhaaf, A. 112:1957-78 G (Ephestia), A. Kiihn, BC, TR, BD, PB, RC, BDIT, U. Köln

Ehrman, Lee 27: 1962-75 G (Ephestia), RC, PB, BD

Eicher, Eva Mae (GS) 97: 1965-79 MG, CYG, G (Ephestia), UR, PB, Jackson Lab., RC, BD

Erlenmeyer-Kimling, L. 28:1962-73 FS, PB, HG, BG, BD

Firschein, W. 43:1960-72 BCG, MLG, RC, Wesleyan U., BD

14. Intl. Congr. Genet. 44:1974-78 ICG (Org. c.), PRS

Genetic Organization, II 132: 1968-74 EDIT, G, PB, A. Ravin

Genetics 65:1963-73 PB, EDIT, SO (Genet, Sec.), UR, RF

Genetics Soc. Amer. 126: 1964-67 SO (GSA, pres., C), CS, AIBS, PRS, TR

Goodrich, H.B. 109: 1945-54 Wesleyan U., T, WWII, BD, RS, CS, BD

Gottlieb, F.J. 46: G (Ephestia), DG, PB, RC, BD, U. Pittsburgh

Grants (AEC) 71 : 1 96 1 70 G (Ephestia), MG, RS (proposals, res. repts.)

Grants (NSF) 139: 1957-71 G (Ephestia), MG, MLG, EM, RS (proposals, repts.), BC, FS, PB, BD (train. grants)

Green, M.M. 41:1948-68 DG, G (Ephestia), CSH, RC, TR

Hamburg, D.A. 30: 1960-74 BG, HE, FS, BD

Henke, K.F.W. 20:1935-56 G (Ephestia), DG, Kiihn, WWII, CSH, BD

Imberski, RE. 27:1966-79 RC, PB, BD

Jackson Mem. Lab. 37: 1961-76 MG, CS, C, BG

Kühn, Alfred 72:1936-48 G (Ephestia), MG, EM (lect.), BD, WWII, T, TR

Mayr, Ernst 36:1947-70 EV, PG, IV, PB

Melchers, J.G.F. 15:1969-76 G (somatic hybrids), HE, BD, Timoféeff-Ressovsky, photos

Milano, Ann/Madelyn 77:1960-63 G (Ephestia), GS, RC, BD

Miller, H.C. 23:1970-73 MSS, HG, BG

Muth, F.W. 95:1961-70 G (Ephestia), RA, UR, FS, PB, BD, TR, U. Kaln, RC

Natl. Res. Coun./Comm. Basic Res. in Educ. 112:1970-73 NRC/C, RS, BG, BD, CS

Nawa, S. 71:1961-67 FS (UR), RC, BD, MLG, PB, G (Ephestia)

New Eng. Psych. Assn. 24:1964-65 CS, IV

Paigen, K. 61:1951-74 CYG, MG, BC, PB, BD, RC, C

Parker, Evelyn D. 27:1969-74 RC, BD, PB, FS

Piepho, Hans 13:1960-75 G (Ephestia), EM, BD, IV, FS

Pohley, H.J. 62:1958-68 G (Ephestia), EM, FS, Wesleyan U., UR

Schwarz, E. 174:1932-64 DGS, WWII, BD, G, PLG, MG, TR, RBG, RTG, RA, PB, Smithsonian Inst.

Seiger, Marvin B. 76:1965-78 BG, FS, PG, PB, RS, TR, BD, PI, MSS

Snell, G.D. 60:1941-79 MG, IM, Jackson Lab., CCT, EDIT, PB

Sec. Sci. Res. Counc./Comm. Genetics & Behavior 59:1961-80 C (SSRC), BG, CS, MSS, CS, SS

Source Book, Hist. ofSci. 31:1961-80 HB, PB, BD (E. Mayr)

Stadler, D.R. 36:1971-73 EDIT, C

Stern, Curt 57:1946-70 BD, PB, CSH, EU, RC

Teicher, Luz (GS) 57:1972-75 BD, GS (UR), EM, MG, RC

U. Roch. Dept. Biol. 35:1969-79 C, GS, FS, T, RC, BD, EV

Vankin,G.L. 80:1958-78 GS (UR), RA, RC, BD, MG, EV, MLG, PG, BG, HE, PB

Vishniac, W.V. 25:1965-66 UR, SU, RC, BD

Wallace, Bruce 22:1955-71 G, CSH, PG, DG, RC, FS, BD

Watson, D.G. 91:1957-77 RS, CYG, PG, PRG, MLG, EV, GP, TR, BD, RC, BDIT, BIB

Wesleyan U. 102:1954-70 RC, BD, T (Wesleyan U.), G, EV, SO, TR, GS

There are 57 letters to or from Caspari in the Dunn Papers, and 20 in the Stern Papers.


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