Remembering Dr. Paul M. Bronstein

On March 10, 2009 Dr. Paul M. Bronstein died at the age of 64. Paul originally from New York, was raised in the Bronx by his aunt and uncle, Gertrude and Morton Nesselson. He leaves to cherish his memory his sister, Barra Tull, and his loving companion Donna Sell, as well as her two children, Claudia and Julian Sell. Dr. Bronstein graduated from City College of New York, and earned his Ph.D. at Rutgers. His expertise was in the field of animal behavior; he investigated, lectured and has published articles on animal behavior. He was a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan-Flint. Memorial contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood and to the National Center for Science Education (Berkeley, California).


Paul M. Bronstein, Ph.D., professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Michigan-Flint, retired from active faculty status on December 31, 2003. Professor Bronstein joined the University of Michigan-Flint faculty as an assistant professor in 1981 and was promoted to associate professor in 1983 and professor in 1989.  Professor Bronstein started his teaching distinguished career included Brooklyn College from 1971-76, Trenton State College from 1976-81, and Rutgers University from 1980-81.


Professor Bronstein's research interests focused on the areas of behavioral biology and ecology and comparative and experimental psychology: his work included the study of the conditioning paradigm in the Siamese fighting fish, Betts splendens. Dr. Bronstein has many published works, including several papers co-authored with undergraduate students working under his supervision. Other accomplishments include serving as visiting researcher at the University College of Swansea, the University of Parma, and the Laboratory of Animal Behavior in Nouzilly, France. He was elected a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Research o Aggression, and from 1988-92, he served on the editorial board of the Journal of Comparative Psychology.


Paul was an internationally renowned scholar and is credited as being instrumental in elevating the reputation of the University of Michigan-Flint Department of Psychology to first-rank status in the world of animal behavior. In a memorial Harry Frank wrote, “In the early 1980s, Paul and I were at an international ethology meeting in Toulouse, France, and I recall that more than one luminary blithely assumed that FLINT was the main campus of the University of Michigan simply because Paul was at UM-Flint.” Frank also affirmed Dr. Bronstein’s commitment to his students stating, “Paul was every bit as committed to his undergraduate students as to his elite community of research peers. Even in his largest classes, Paul assigned demanding written work and devoted hours to individual conferences to provide each student with meticulously detailed feedback.”


Professor Bronstein taught an extraordinary range of courses including Introductory Psychology, Animal Behavior, Developmental and Experimental Psychology, Neuropsychology, Sociobiology, and Psychopharmacology. Along with research Professor Bronstein’s has a legacy of extensive service to the University including membership and leadership on the Academic Standards Committee, the Scientific Equipment Committee, the Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee, and the Research Advisory Committee and others.


In 2004 the Regents of the University of Michigan in recognition of this distinguished educator for his dedicated service named Paul M. Bronstein Professor Emeritus of Psychology.