Michael I. Mote, 80, of Mt. Airy, a retired biology professor who had pioneered the use of digital computers to process and analyze neural electrical signals, died June 8 of pneumonia at Chestnut Hill Hospital.
Dr. Mote retired in 2006 as professor emeritus from Temple University’s biology department, where he had served as chairman from 1982 to 1984 and had trained many doctoral students. At Temple he taught a wide range of classes, from entry-level courses to a complex graduate-level neurobiology course.
Before joining Temple’s biology department in 1970, he completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in neurobiology at Yale University, where he performed original research on how color is processed in the eye and central nervous system of invertebrates. He also studied learning and memory in zebra fish.
Dr. Mote spent summers as a visiting scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.
While his sons were young, he coached T-ball and soccer for the Chestnut Hill Sports Club.
Born in San Francisco, he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree from San Francisco State College, and a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.
He served as a specialist in the Army and Army Reserve.
He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Mote enjoyed hiking and fishing with his family in Canada and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where as a young man he had worked as a High Sierra camps guide at Yosemite National Park. He played the ukulele and guitar.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy P.; sons Timothy I. and Gregory A.; four grandchildren, and a brother.
Funeral services will be private. Memorial donations may be made to the Undergraduate Research Fund, Temple University College of Science and Technology, Office of Institutional Advancement, Box 827651, Philadelphia, 19182, or via cst.temple.edu/giving. The gift should be designated as being “in memory of Dr. Michael I. Mote.” – WF