Humphrey, Philip S. (Deceased)
Philip was born on February 26, 1926, in Hibbing, Minnesota. From 1944 to 1947 he served in the U.S. Air Force. He attended Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, earning his BA cum laude in biology in 1949. He received his MS degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1952 and his PhD degree in 1955 with a dissertation entitled The Tribe Mergini. In June of 1955, Philip began working as a research associate at the Museum of Zoology of the University of Michigan. Two years later he moved to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, to be assistant curator of ornithology and assistant professor of zoology. While at Yale University, he received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, which lasted from 1960 to 1961. He stayed at Yale until 1962, when he became curator of the Division of Birds of the Department of Zoology of the U.S. National Museum. In 1965, he was promoted to chairman of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology at this museum. He went on to the University of Kansas in 1967, to become chairman of the Department of Zoology there until 1969, and continuing from 1967 as director of the Museum of Natural History. Philip’s key interest areas are ornithology and museum management, and he combines research, administration, and teaching. In particular, he is interested in systematics and the ecology of Fuego-Patagonian birds. He wrote about 20 papers on these birds, as well as about 20 on waterfowl and five on molts and plumages. He considered conservation accomplished through service on boards, such as the World Wildlife Fund-U.S., to be an important part of his life. He became a trustee on this board in 1978, as well as being on the long range planning committee, the executive committee, and as chairman of the program committee. Philip also belonged to and served in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Ornithologists Union, the Association of Systematics Collections of which he was secretary from 1972 to 1976, Cooper Ornithological Society, International Council for Bird Preservation Pan American Section, the Kansas Museum Association, the Kansas Ornithological Society, the National Audubon Society, Sigma Xi, the Society of Systematic Zoology, and the Wilson Ornithological Society. He also was involved with the Douglas County Historical Society, the Elizabeth M. Watkins Community Museum Board of Trustees, Acquisitions Committee, and Executive Committee, and the Rotary Club, as well as many committees and boards related to the University of Kansas. Philip studied in various Central and South American countries throughout his life, including Haiti, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Chile. Philip was elected to membership in the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 1963 and now is a non-resident member living in Lawrence, Kansas.