Robert E. Ogren

Robert E. Ogren was born in Jamestown, New York, U.S.A. on February 9, 1922.  He developed his strong interest in natural history while in secondary school and devoted time at home to study of microscopic biology. He earned his B.A.. degree for Zoology in 1947 from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois and his M.S. degree in 1948 from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He received the Ph.D. degree for Zoology and Physiology in 1953 from University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois. His doctoral thesis in the field of zoology and parasitology, was entitled: Concepts of Early Tapeworm Development Derived From Comparative Embryology of Oncospheres.

His academic career began at Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, Assistant Professor of Biology, 1953-1957; Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Assistant Professor of Biology 1957-1963. Acting Chairman of Biology Department 1959-1960. He came to Wilkes College (now Wilkes University), Wilkes-Barre, Pa., 1963 as Associate Professor of Biology, Full Professor in 1981, and Professor of Biology, Emeritus, 1986. During his tenure (1963-1986) he taught a wide range of courses in zoology and botany and developed a program of basic research, with aid of a National Science Foundation Grant (1960, ‘63,’65), in Development of Tapeworm Hexacanth Embryos. From 1980 to the present his main research efforts examine various aspects of the Biology of land planarians.

He has published 77 articles distributed as follows: tapeworm development of hexacanth embryos (oncospheres) 24; nematodes 5; one paper on a problematic nemertine worm with Dr. Ray Gibson; land flatworms (i.e., land planarians) (47 papers): as single author (20), or multiple authored article, 27. He has shared 21 articles since 1987 with Dr. Masaharu Kawakatsu, an internationally known flatworm specialist. One of their most ambitious joint publications is entitled "Index for Land Planarians of the World. Taxonomic information on the species and their synonomies and distribution." This work, now consisting of 15 separate softbound volumes the first published in 1987, was initiated in 1986 during Ogren’s Sabbatical leave from Wilkes University. The Index has become a standard international reference.

He was a member of the following scientific organizations: American Microscopical Society, American Society of Zoologists, American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS Fellow), American Society of Parasitologists, Ecological Society of America, Electron Microscopy Society of America, Helminthological Society of Washington, New York Academy of Sciences, Pennsylvania Academy of Science (Editor of Proceedings, 1961-‘63), Sigma Xi; Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia; American Museum of Natural History, New York. He was recognized by Pa. Acad. Sci as recipient of their Darbaker Award for Microscopical Biology, 1957, 1961, 1989; AAAS Fellow;  Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, as well as American Men and Women of Science.

He was elected to the Wyoming Valley West School Board, serving 1973-1979: President, 1979. He was a member of the board for EEI, Ecumenical Enterprises Inc., Dallas, Pa., providing Meadows Nursing Center, Meadows Manor and living units for the elderly.

Editor, 1996 MEET THE PASTORS OF FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, WILKES-BARRE, PA. 1770-1996 ( Published by Historical Records Committee of the First Presbyterian Church, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. ( Library of Congress Catalog Number 96-80406; copies available from editor or First Presbyterian Church.)

Author, 1998, THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF WILKES-BARRE, PENNSYLVANIA:   HISTORY of the SANCTUARY, STAINED GLASS WINDOWS and PIPE ORGANS 1886-1998, (Published by First Presbyterian Church...; Library of Congress Catalog Number 98-74307 )

He died peacefully in his sleep July 13, 2005 while on vacation at the Chautauqua Institution near Jamestown, NY.

Additional personal information

Graduate of Jamestown Senior High School class, 1940, Jamestown, N.Y. in Chautauqua County, N.Y. His parents were of Swedish and English descent. He has an older brother and a younger sister. His tour of military service was in Army Medical Corps, 1943-1946 where he served in the Pacific Theatre, spending time in New Guinea, Philippines and Japan, associated with a large general hospital. He was married in August 28, 1948 to Jean B. Jackson of Drexil Hill, Wheaton College graduate of 1948. They have two sons both college graduates, married and employed in field of computer science applications.


This page was last updated on 08/22/05