John Joseph Magnuson, PhD, became interested in wildlife and nature as a youngster, camping and sport fishing with his parents. Upon entering secondary school, he was further inspired by a biology teacher who introduced him to the fundamental aspects of living creatures. Subsequently, Dr. Magnuson sought an education at the University of Minnesota, earning a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in 1956 and 1958, respectively; he attributed the major inspiration for a career in science to his mentor, Professor Lloyd L. Smith Jr. In 1961, he attended The University of British Columbia and received a Doctor of Philosophy in zoology with a minor in oceanography. To date, Dr. Magnuson amassed 57 years of professional experience in fish and fisheries ecology and conservation.
In 1961, he was hired as chief of the tuna behavior and physiology program at the Honolulu Biological Laboratory with the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1968 as an assistant professor, advancing to associate, full, and then emeritus professor of zoology at his retirement in 2000. Here, he became the founding director of the Center for Limnology in 1982 and a chairman of the oceanography and limnology graduate program, as well as program director of ecology with the National Science Foundation for one year and a trustee of the Wisconsin chapter of the Nature Conservancy from 2005 to 2014. Dr. Magnuson is a former president of the American Fisheries Society and a member of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the Ecological Society of America, and the Society for International Limnology. Dr. Magnuson, married with two daughters, enjoys family history, gardening, photography, canoeing and hiking in his spare time.
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