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Cytogenetics refers to the study of genetic principles through cytological observations, particularly chromosomes and chromosome behavior. Professor Schlarbaum was first exposed to research as a forestry undergraduate student in 1972, when he registered for a Special Studies class at Colorado State University under the internationally renowned barley cytogeneticist, Professor Takumi Tsuchiya. Tsuchiya was known primarily for developing trisomic lines of barley that were used in genetic and physical mapping of genes. Schlarbaum worked on barley chromosomes for a semester before Tsuchiya suggested that he switch to forest trees, which was more in line with his major. This led to a long relationship between professor and student until Tsuchiya’s death in 1992. Though no longer active in cytogenetic research, Professor Schlarbaum occasionally contributes to the scientific literature through overview perspectives about forest tree cytogenetics and viewpoints on cytogenetic evolution in conifers.