Oral History Interview with Paul Louis Illg, Former Curator of Invertebrate Biology National Museum of Natural History, 1947-1952
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Paul Louis Illg (1914-1998) received his B.A. in 1936 and M.A. in 1941 from the University of California at Berkeley. He began his Ph.D. program at Berkeley but his studies were interrupted by World War II. After completing his wartime service, Illg was appointed Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology in the National Museum of Natural History from 1947 to 1952, while completing his Ph.D. at The George Washington University in 1952. Illg spent the remainder of his career at the University of Washington teaching zoology, as Assistant Professor in 1952, then Associate Professor, and Professor from 1969 to 1982. He specialized in the systematics of Crustacea, conducting fieldwork from the Friday Harbor Laboratories. Illg published prodigiously for more than fifty years on parasitic copepods, particularly those living in ascidians. His research on microscopic ascidicolous copepods greatly extended biological and taxonomic knowledge, and illuminated evolutionary processes in these extremely complex parasitic crustaceans.