Former College of Sciences dean Joseph Daniel dies
February 17, 2016
Joseph C. Daniel, the former dean of Old Dominion University's College of Sciences and internationally recognized as an expert in reproductive biology, died Feb. 15 at his Norfolk home.
A memorial celebration for Daniel will be held Thursday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments, 1501 Colonial Ave. in Norfolk.
Daniel earned several Fulbright awards around the world and worked on the first human in vitro fertilization studies. Born in Murphysboro, Ill., Daniel was a U.S. Navy veteran and attended St. Louis University, receiving a degree in biology. He earned advanced degrees at the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado. Early in his teaching career, he worked with two future Nobel laureates at the University of Cambridge and in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was a Fulbright scholar.
Daniel came to Old Dominion in 1984 as dean of the School of Sciences and Health Professions. When the University reorganized in 1986, he became dean of the College of Sciences. He stepped down from that role in 1991 to return to teaching and research before retiring in 1994 as professor emeritus of biological sciences and dean emeritus.
Daniel wrote more than 200 publications and received external funding totaling more than $2 million. With a deep interest in animal behavior, his research focused on mammalian embryology and reproductive physiology, and he won international recognition of his pioneering work with uterine proteins and early mammalian development.
After his retirement from the University, Daniel continued to pursue some of his research interests, including the communication, breeding and general biology of the rhinoceros. Most of this work was done with captive animals in zoos, with an occasional trip to Africa to conduct research on wild rhinos in their natural habitat.
Daniel also loved dogs and wrote three dog-related books, including "Charles the Lion Dog" in 2013, an illustrated story based on the real-life local dog that has become an unofficial Old Dominion mascot.
The Daniel family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind.