Reino S. Freeman Graduate Scholarship in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Ray Freeman was
born in the mining community of Virginia, Minnesota, graduating from Duluth
State College in 1942 before serving in the United States Naval Reserve. Ray
saw action in the invasion of Sicily and in the Pacific on the battleship
Maryland. Ray was quick to say he had seen all the war he ever wanted to see.
The G.I. Bill made it possible for Ray to do his masters and doctorate with
F.G. Wallace at the University of Minnesota and do field work with the
legendary Asa Chandler of Rice. Ellen Bek and Reino Freeman married and he
accepted a professional position at Southern Illinois University, 1950-52. The
Freemans moved to Toronto when Ray accepted the position of Senior Research
Fellow at the Ontario Research Foundation with a cross-appointment to the
Department of Zoology, University of Toronto.
Ray’s special interest was in the parasites, especially the helminthes, of wildlife: owls, hawks, mice, foxes, mustellids and fishes. Much of his research and that of graduate students he supervised dealt with tapeworms. Investigations on Taenia crassiceps were of special interest. Scientists in different countries subsequently extended the research on this species. Dr. Freeman enabled a prominent opthalmologist to make the first diagnosis in the world of the larval stage of this worm in a patient’s eye. Professor Freeman’s work on two groups of tapeworms generated new insights into their evolution. Dr. Freeman investigated human parasites in several countries: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and he held a Fulbright Fellowship in Finland.
Ray Freeman was a naturalist who enjoyed birding, fishing, hunting, or just being in the outdoor environment, typically leaving it cleaner than he found it.
Professor Freeman retired in 1985. Following his premature death in 1990, his devoted wife, Ellen has made possible the endowed fellowship in his name. Ray Freeman is remembered as a gentleman, a friend and as an outstanding teacher.