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Jack Webster honored as Fellow of the Ecological Society of America

May 17, 2016

Jack Webster holds outdoor class at stream

Jack Webster, at far left, holds outdoor class at stream
Professor Emeritus of Ecology Jack Webster, at far left, takes his field and lab ecology students on a field trip to a stream in McCoy, Virginia.

Jackson “Jack” R. Webster, Professor Emeritus of Ecology with the Virginia Tech College of Science, has been selected as a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.

A member of the Department of Biological Sciences, Webster was honored for his “distinguished contributions to the discipline.” Webster will join other 2016 honorees at an awards reception at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in August. 

Webster is known for his decades-long research into ecosystem-level processes of aquatic ecosystems, biogeochemistry of streams, and riparian-stream interactions. During his career, he secured more than $6 million in grants as a principal or co-principal investigator and another $32 million as a part of multi-university research teams. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and 35 book chapters.

“Jack Webster has not only had an enormous impact on the field of freshwater ecology, but he has inspired countless students in the classroom and the great outdoors over his 40 years at Virginia Tech,” said said Brenda Winkel, head of biological sciences, part of the College of Science. “He continues to be an outstanding mentor to students and faculty colleagues, alike.”

According to its website, the society designates as Fellows those members who have made outstanding contributions to any field in ecology. Honorees hail from academics, government, nonprofits, and the private sector.

Webster was honored as a professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors in 2015 for his dedication to the university, teaching a variety of courses ranging from junior to advanced graduate levels in biological sciences. He also was honored with Virginia Tech’s William E. Wine Award in 2012 for his teaching work.

Webster joined Virginia Tech in 1975.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

Founded in 1915, the nonprofit Ecological Society of America is an organization of scientists dedicated to promoting ecological science by improving communication among ecologists, raising the public’s level of awareness of ecological science, and increasing resources available for the ecological science research.

The society previously named John Cairns, also retired from biological sciences, as a Fellow in 2012. 

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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