Texas A&M University has awarded its highest faculty honor by bestowing Dr. Kirk Winemiller, Regents Professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, with the title of University Distinguished Professor. Dr. Winemiller will be formally inducted at a ceremony honoring all of the University’s Distinguished Professors on May 8, 2019.
The designation identifies faculty members who are preeminent in their fields and who have made at least one landmark contribution to their discipline. Their research and advancements are considered central to any narrative of the field. Past recipients of the lifetime title participate in the selection process, growing the ranks of Distinguished Professors by just a handful of scholars each year.
Dr. Winemiller has a distinguished record of contributions to ecology and fisheries science. In particular, his research on life history strategies and their relationships to population regulation, ecological dynamics, and fisheries management have significantly altered how the scientific community views population and community responses to environmental variations, and how this is influenced by species functional traits. These contributions have advanced both fundamental knowledge in ecology as well as approaches in fisheries management and biological conservation.
Dr. Winemiller has significantly advanced the field of food web ecology through empirical research demonstrating spatial and temporal variation in network properties as mediated by environmental factors and species functional traits. This work has been so fundamental to the field, that it has been featured in recent ecology textbooks.
Dr. Brad Pusey, Director of River Research Pty. Ltd., and Principal Research Fellow for the Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub, University of Western Australia, said “the field of ecology is typically not one in which substantial intellectual leaps forward are made … that said, two of Kirk’s publications have indeed had a seminal transformative effect on our discipline … life history and … riverine food webs.”
Distinguished Professor James Brown, University of New Mexico, who is a National Academy Member, said Dr. Winemiller “is definitely in the top 2% of active researchers in his area of research: basic and applied ecology of fish” and his authored papers are “transformational” with “enormous influence.” Furthermore, Dr. Brown said Dr. Winemiller “is probably one of the two or three best, if not THE BEST, of the hundreds of scientists working on freshwater fish in the U.S. and around the world.”
Dr. Winemiller received a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987 and joined the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences faculty at Texas A&M University and AgriLife Research in 1992. Dr. Winemiller has been recognized for his academic success and outstanding contributions in his field and to Texas A&M University and AgriLife Research with multiple awards and professional honors. In 2018 alone, he was elected Ecological Society of America Fellow, American Fisheries Society Fellow, Texas A&M AgriLife Research Senior Faculty Fellow, and received the American Fisheries Society Award of Excellence, the highest award for career research. He was awarded the Ecological Society of America Mercer Award for one of his early contributions in food web ecology, the U.S. Fulbright Fellowship twice, and has been recognized by Texas A&M University System with the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Graduate Teaching, Vice Chancellor’s Award for Undergraduate Teaching, Bush Excellence Award for International Teaching, President’s Award for Service to International Students, AgriLife Faculty Fellowship, and Regents Professorship.
Dr. Winemiller has an outstanding record of accomplishment and has achieved a level of seminal contribution that merits the title of University Distinguished Professor. Please join the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences in congratulating Dr. Kirk Winemiller on this highly prestigious award.