OSA | Living History

Russell L. De Valois

OSA Awards & Distinctions



Russell L De Valois attended Oberlin College in Ohio, where he received an A.B. in zoology and physiology in 1947, as well as an M.A. in psychology in 1948. He continued his education at the University of Michigan, where he received a Ph.D. in physiological psychology in 1952. Upon finishing his degree, he obtained an invitation to study ethology with Konrad Lorenz in Germany. Howerver, just as he was about to begin his Fulbright fellowship, Lorenz left for England and directed him to work instead at the University of Freiburg with the zoologist G. Birukow. He was offered a position as a research associate and lecturer in psychology at the University of Michigan as well as a position as one of the first resident scientists at the new Kresge Institute, which he accepted. After five years in Ann Arbor, he accepted a faculty appointment in psychology at Indiana University, where he remained until 1968. De Valois then moved to the Department of Psychology in Berkeley where he taught and did research until his untimely death in 2003.

His work was of an incredibly high standard, and he was widely recognized and honored for it’s innovation. He was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists and the National Academy of Sciences; and received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological association, the Waren Medal of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the Edgar D. Tillyer Medal of OSA, and the Prentice medal of the American Academy of Optometry.

He passed away in 2003.



Document Created: 2 Oct 2020
Last Updated: 2 Oct 2020