Kenneth E. Webb Jr. of Blacksburg, Va., professor and interim department head for Animal and Poultry Sciences in Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received the 2008 American Society of Animal Sciences (ASAS) Fellow Award-Research Category. He was honored at the society's annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind.

The fellowship award is given to members of ASAS who have provided exceptional service to animal science and the livestock industry for 25 years or more. To be eligible, individuals must be current ASAS members, and must have been members for the three years leading up to their nomination.

Webb’s research focuses on the nutritional physiology of the ruminant, with emphasis on protein utilization. His work led to the proposal and development of the idea of peptide absorption, whereby the gastrointestinal tracts of animals absorb small peptides that can provide amino acids essential to cells. Because of Webb’s research, animal scientists across the globe now recognize peptide absorption as an important physiological process and are devising nutritional regimens for livestock and poultry that take this understanding into account, especially in younger animals.

Webb received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and went on to earn his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Kentucky. He began working at Virginia Tech in 1969; since that time he has served on 143 graduate committees in nine departments within the school. Webb has published 304 publications and holds a United States patent.