He was born in Lincoln, Illionois, USA on 26 July 1944 to Ivan Frank Dodson and Dorothy Wanda Dodson. He spent his early childhood in Southern Illinois but moved to western Colorado in 1962 where he stayed until he graduated from Grand Junction High School. He attended Yale University and graduated with a BA in Science in 1966. While at Yale University, Stanley met Virginia Elizabeth Joseph, who became his wife on 16 January 1967. Stanley and Virginia then moved to Washington State where Stanley received his Doctorate in Zoology (1970) from the University of Washington. After graduation, Stanley and his family moved to Wisconsin, and Stanley became an Assistant Professor of Zoology. He was a Professor of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1970 until his retirement in 2008.
He died on Sunday, 23 August 2009, as a result of injuries he received from a cycling accident.
Stan was one of those remarkable people whose character and personality were gifts to the world as great as his achievements in science. Whether we knew him as friend, mentor, or colleague, Stanley Ivan Dodson was defined by his spirit. The same stresses tugged at him as the rest of us - funding, family, finding time for research, guiding students, the politics of science. But like a rock in a river Stan's spirit kept him and those around him, grounded. His secret may have been in the zooplankton, his favourite topic of research. Stan helped shape our ideas on size-selective predation and the response of species diversity and food web structure to many different environmental stressors - in addition to being a consummate taxonomist. Think of him every time you tow a net in a lake or reach for a microscope. He will be missed.
By Charles Ramcharan and Jim Rusak.