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A.B. Chapman, UW-Madison animal geneticist, dead at 96

Arthur Barclay “Chappie” Chapman, emeritus professor of genetics and animal breeding at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, died Dec. 29, 2004 at the Don and Marilyn Anderson HospiceCare facility in Madison. He was 96 years old.

Chapman earned a B.S. degree at Washington State in 1930, an M.S. at Iowa State in 1931, and a doctorate in genetics at the UW-Madison in 1935. He joined the faculty of the UW-Madison in 1936, and became a full professor of genetics in 1947. He was appointed professor of animal breeding and genetics in the departments of Meat and Animal Science, Genetics, and Dairy Science in 1972, and was named professor emeritus following his retirement in 1975.

Chapman taught genetics and animal breeding in Short Course; animal breeding and principles of genetics for undergraduates; and design and analysis of animal experiments, biometrical genetics related to genetic improvement of livestock, and an animal breeding seminar for graduate students.

Chapman”s research focused on selection procedures and mating systems related to genetic improvement of livestock. He authored hundreds of research papers and journal articles and co-authored several books. Chapman received many awards and fellowships, including a Rockefeller Foundation Award for teaching and research in Poland, and Fulbright and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships for research in New Zealand.

Chapman was active in the Genetics Society of America, the American Genetic Association, the Biometrics Society, and the American Dairy Science Association, as well as the Egyptian Society of Genetics and the British and New Zealand Societies of Animal Production.

A longstanding member of the American Society of Animal Science, Chapman served as associate editor and editor of the Journal of Animal Science. He received the ASAS Animal Breeding and Genetics Award and the Morrison Award, and became a society Fellow in 1972. He served as president of the ASAS in 1964-1965 and as director in 1966.

Chapman was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and served on the editorial board of the Journal of Heredity. He was also an honorary member of Sigma Xi, Alpha Zeta, Gamma Alpha, Phi Sigma, and Gamma Sigma Delta. A conference room has been named in his honor in the Animal Sciences building at the UW-Madison.

Chapman, who was born in Windermere, England, came to the United States in 1925 and became a naturalized citizen in 1936. His wife of 70 years, Winnie, died in August 2004. Chapman is survived by his three daughters and their husbands, 11 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

The family will have an open house Sunday, Jan. 9, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at 1117 Risser Road, Madison, to celebrate Chapman”s life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the A. B. Chapman Lecture Series, care of University of Wisconsin Foundation, 1848 University Ave., PO Box 8860, Madison, WI 53708.