Magnuson receives FWCB distinguished alumnus award

John J. Magnuson has been chosen the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology (FWCB) 2017 Distinguished Alumnus. For more than a half century, Magnuson has been a pioneer and field-shaping aquatic ecologist whose work has had significant policy implications. He is an international authority on the ecology of freshwater lakes and their role in landscape level ecosystems.

He received a B.S. in 1956 and a M.S. in 1958 in Fisheries and Wildlife Management. Following his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, he joined the University of Wisconsin (UW) Zoology faculty in 1968, where he served for 32 years. Magnuson and his research team--including an astounding 108 M.S. and Ph.D. students--were highly productive and influential, publishing more than 350 scientific papers. Magnuson’s research advanced our knowledge of climate change and variability, community ecology and invasions and extinctions, crayfish ecology, fish behavior and ecology, fisheries science and management, lake ice, landscapes and oceanscapes, limnology and pollution ecology, long-term ecological research, thermal ecology of fishes, tuna biology and ecology, and winter ecology of fishes. Magnuson spearheaded long-term research on lakes for 20 years. He served in many key leadership positions including founding director of the UW’s Center of Limnology, director of the ecology program at the National Science Foundation, president of the American Fisheries Society, and Chair of the National Academy of Science Committees addressing marine fisheries and biodiversity. His pioneering leadership as the first co-chair of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts and as a lead for aquatic assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been central to linking aquatic science to policy-making over the past decade.

Magnuson’s visionary leadership and science have earned him many accolades, including a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We are privileged to present him with our alumni award this year and welcome him back to campus.He will be honored in conjunction with the Kolshorn Lecture, 4:30-6 p.m., Sept. 18, 33 McNeal Hall.