Dr. Ray Waldner, professor of biology and associate dean of sciences received the service award for his 35 years at PBA. Waldner has seen vast success through the years from having a fish parasite named after him and a children’s book dedicated in his honor.
Waldner was born in Connecticut, moved to Miami, spent five years in Puerto Rico working on his doctorate and then returned to West Palm Beach when he joined the PBA faculty in 1982. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree at Florida Atlantic University and his Ph.D. at the University of Puerto Rico.
Waldner chose PBA for his career path because of the values promoted, the location and faculty. He had a long-time friendship with Dr. Gary Goss, senior professor of biology, prior to working at PBA. Waldner began as an adjunct professor and worked his way up the ladder to what he is now titled as, professor of biology and associate dean of sciences.
Waldner specializes in ichthyology and has authored over 60 professional and popular articles dealing with fishes and fishing. He has led numerous educational trips to Mexico, the Galapagos Islands, the Bahamas, and the Florida Keys. He has the distinction of having a fish parasite (Renocila waldneri) named in his honor as well as having a children’s science book, Wet and Wacky Water Fun, dedicated to him.
When asked what he enjoys most about his profession Waldner said, “Seeing how everything in nature fits together, learning new information, making new discoveries and most of all sharing all of this with others.”
“Dr. Waldner instilled a love of learning in his students in all aspects of his teaching and advising – from telling jokes to wake us up in his Monday 8 a.m. class to always having an open office door if we had questions about fish, life or our future careers. He was an above and beyond advisor and professor,” said Molly Thistle, 2016 alumna.
“He is loyal to the PBA institution. He has always provided thankless hours above and beyond what is expected to further our department and university,” said Dr. Thomas Chesnes, professor of biology and chair of the department of biology.