James W. Porter
University of Georgia, 2007-2008
After earning a B.S. in biology at Yale University, a summer of fieldwork in Panama inspired his interest in the ecology and physiology of marine invertebrates. Porter went on to earn his Ph.D. at Yale and serve as an assistant professor of natural resources at the University of Michigan. In 1977, he moved to his present position in the University of Georgia's Institute of Ecology, serving in a variety of administrative posts, including curator of invertebrates at the Georgia Museum of Natural History. In 2004 he became Meigs Professor of Ecology. Porter's widely reported discovery of a fecal coliform bacterium as the causal agent of coral disease in the Florida Keys influenced the upgrade of wastewater treatment facilities there. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as the American Society of Naturalists and is also an active member of the Explorers Club. Porter received the 2005 Eugene P. Odum Award from the Ecological Society of America. An official organizer of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium (Boca Raton, 2008), he has also served as director for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/World Wildlife Fund's Marine Campaign. A member of Sigma Xi since 1972, Porter is a past president of the University of Georgia Chapter.