Ronald served as First Officer on the Hugo Gernsback, which crashed into 2175 Aeia in 2175. Captain Harris Fairchild was killed in the crash, and following emergency protocols, Ronald was promoted to acting Captain.
Upon assessment of the ship, however, the distress beacon was discovered to be damaged, and would take some time to repair---far longer than the time it would take for the surviving crew members to survive on the ship's food supplies. An analysis of the local flora revealed that the food on the planet was toxic, and could cause neural decay if ingested. Initially, Ronald Taylor decided to save the ship's food stores for himself and the remaining officers, implementing harsh but necessary rules in order to ensure that at least someone would remain in full control of their faculties for the beacon to be repaired. As the days went by, however, Ronald began to get used to life on the planet, living like a king, going so far as to assign the women to himself and his officers as pets. Thus, when the beacon was finally repaired around a year after the crash, Ronald, unwilling to answer for his actions, refused to activate it, believing that it was best that they disappear off the face of the galaxy.
When one of his officers started feeling remorse for their actions, Ronald turned his security mechs on him. Either from paranoia or in self-defense, Ronald eventually killed all the other officers within the same week, leaving him the only one with food from the ship's stores and in full control of the security mechs. Ronald exiled or killed most of the men after the decay lowered inhibitions, making them resistant to Taylor's authority and increasingly violent. Over the next seven years, Ronald stretched out the food supplies by dining for one, with all the power and comfort he could want.
That all changed when the exiled men returned. These hunters, as they were now called, adapted to the planet and eventually became feral. They began waging war with Ronald's mechs, stealing guns and killing any of the surviving women who left Ronald's camp. As the war with the hunters began putting pressure on Ronald's security, Ronald realized the only way out alive was to be rescued. He set off the beacon remotely and thought up a weak story to absolve himself of guilt.
In 2185, the Normandy SR-2 comes to investigate the distress beacon from the Gernsback. After landing, Commander Shepard's team is attacked by the exiled hunters and Ronald's security mechs. After fighting through them all, Jacob confronts his father, who is shocked to see him. Jacob questions his decisions, and accuses him of doing unspeakable things to his crew so he could live in a "juvenile fantasy." Ronald tries to justify his inhumane actions but Jacob is not convinced. Ronald's fate is up to Shepard. Shepard can decide to turn him over to the Alliance courts, leave him to the mercy of his degenerated crew on Aeia, or give him a pistol to kill himself. In any event, Jacob realizes that Ronald is no longer the father he knew.