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Remembering Dr. Karen Steudel-Numbers

Dr. Karen Steudel-Numbers PhD’74 was chair of the Department of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison before her retirement in 2010. She is well known on campus, having taught the introductory course, Zoology 101, to more than 400 students per semester for over 30 years. She passed away on her birthday, September 25, 2021, in Madison, Wisconsin. Professor Steudel-Numbers spent her career pushing the boundaries of how we understand locomotion, human evolution, and the role of women in academia. Her standards of excellence in terms of experimental design, data collection, and analysis allowed her to test assumptions and discover patterns left untouched by less meticulous scientists. Through extraordinary focus and a love of discovery, Karen became the first female zoology professor to receive tenure and the first female chair of the Department of Zoology at UW–Madison. By her retirement, Karen had published on the locomotion of nearly every known biped of the human lineage.

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