Michael Baxter was born in King's Lynn, Norfolk, UK, in 1939. He graduated BSc and MSc from Nottingham University. His undergraduate work on mycology lead to a PhD on dermatophytes at the Medical Research Council's laboratories in Birmingham. He missed his graduation ceremony in 1968 as he was en route to NZ to take up an appointment as Lecturer in the Microbiology Department at Massey University. There he pursued his interests in the role of fungi as pathogens of humans and other animals. He was a dedicated supporter of NZMS, serving on the Executive Committee, as Secretary /Treasurer and later as Secretary and Conference organiser. For his services to the Society he was elected an Honorary Member in 1999.
Mike acted as NZ representative to the Mycology Section of the International Association of Microbiological Societies from 1976-82 and as a Council Member of the Mycology Division of IUMS from 1982-86. Mike passed away at the early age of 61 in November, 2000, but continued his support of NZMS through his gifting of a sum of $5000 in his will to support the attendance of senior school students at NZMS conferences.