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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2008 / 04 

Duncan M. Porter honored with emeritus status

April 4, 2008

Duncan M. Porter
Duncan M. Porter

Duncan M. Porter of Blacksburg, professor of biological sciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, was conferred with the title of "professor emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's quarterly meeting March 31.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1984, Porter is a leading scholar of the classification of flowering plants, the history of biology, and Charles Darwin. He has authored or co-authored 53 peer-reviewed journal articles, 18 books and monographs, 32 book chapters, and multiple research abstracts, letters, and book reviews. He has been the principal investigator on numerous research grants from state and federal funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

He as won numerous academic honors and awards, including Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London; Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand; Queen’s Anniversary Award for Higher and Further Education; the 2004 Thomas Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Natural Science; and the 2006 Life Achievement in Science Award from the Science Museum of Virginia.

Duncan has served as senior editor of the Darwin Correspondence Project at Cambridge University Library from 1991 to 2006 and director of the Darwin Correspondence Project at Cambridge University from 1997 to 2006.

He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in nano-scale and biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports research centers—in areas such as biomedical and public health sciences, and critical technology and applied science—that encompass other colleges at the university. The College of Science also houses programs in pre-medicine and scientific law. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.