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- Buller, A.H. Reginald
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Arthur Henry Reginald Buller was born August 14, 1874 to Alban Gardner Buller and Mary Jane Higgins in Moseley, Birmingham, England. Buller was the fifth of seven children. Alban Buller was the first in his family to pursue post-secondary education. He obtained his law degree and worked as a barrister, magistrate, and city councillor. Little is known about Buller’s mother.
Buller attended a boarding school in Birmingham and then attended Queen's College, Taunton where he developed his love of natural history. To obtain his bachelor's degree, Buller attended Mason Science College, a University of London affiliate (B.Sc. in 1896). While there he was awarded the Science Research Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and used it to further his studies in Germany. He attended Leipzig University from 1897-1899 under the supervision of Wilhelm Pfeffer and obtained his PhD. Following that, Buller studied under Robert Hartig at the Forstbotanisches Institute in Munich until 1901 and worked at the British Association table at the Stazione Zoologica in Naples during the summers of 1900 and 1901. He then returned to the University of Birmingham as an assistant lecturer and completed his DSc. in 1903 while working.
In 1904, Buller was appointed the first professor of Botany and Geology at the University of Manitoba, one of the original six professors hired by the University. Buller was integral in developing the scientific community in Winnipeg and creating a laboratory and research based scientific educational program at the University of Manitoba. A tireless worker, Buller won international recognition for his work on fungi (mycology) and wheat rust (plant pathology). Buller developed a vast network of colleagues and friends and maintained extensive correspondence, which the University of Manitoba Archives now holds. He also actively campaigned to focus public attention upon the University's problems, including the inadequacy of its downtown campus. Buller served as Head of the Botany Department until his retirement in 1936, after which he became Professor Emeritus.
He was awarded an L.L.B. from the University of Manitoba in 1924 and was made a professor emeritus on his retirement in 1936. In 1963, the Science Building at the University of Manitoba Fort Gary campus was renamed the Buller Biological Laboratories in his honour.
Among his many awards and achievements, Buller was president of the Botanical Society of America in 1928, and vice-president in 1926. He acted as vice-president of the Mycological Society of America in 1936. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1909 and President of the Society in 1927. He was awarded the Flavelle Medal in 1929. In 1937, Buller became a member of the Royal Society of London and winner of its Royal Medal.
Honorary degrees came from many universities, including a D.Sc. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1933, a D.L. from the University of Calcutta in 1937, and an L.L.D. from Saskatchewan in 1928. Buller served as President of the British Mycological Society in 1913, President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society in 1920, and President of the Botanical Society of America in 1928. He died in Winnipeg on July 3, 1944.