Brian Palestis, who joined the Wagner College community as a biology professor in 2001, died Jan. 28, 2020 after a long battle with brain cancer. Recognized with three different faculty awards for excellence during his career, Brian held the Martha Megerle Endowed Chair from 2014 to 2016. Well known for his studies of the common tern in New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay, Brian published more than 30 journal articles on animal behavior, ecology and evolutionary biology. He also put his undergraduate experience as a member of Princeton’s fencing team to use as volunteer assistant coach for Wagner’s women’s fencing team. “A soft-spoken man, Brian’s dedication to the college spoke volumes,” said President Joel Martin and Provost Jeffrey Kraus in a joint statement. “Words cannot ease the loss experienced by his family, friends and colleagues. Yet words are all we have. Brian Palestis was a great teacher, a great scholar and, most importantly, a great person. We will miss his presence at Wagner, but he will always be in our hearts.”
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