Prestigious award for Arctic academic

Former Luton schoolboy has gone on to great things

A former Luton Grammar School pupil is to be awarded a prestigious medal today (Wednesday, June 9) for his work in plant biology.

Patrick Webber, (pictured right), Professor Emeritus in plant biology at Michigan State University, will be recognised by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) for his contributions to arctic and alpine tundra ecology and plant taxonomy, and the promotion of arctic research in general through his 'inspiring mentorship and leadership'.

It is the first time the medal has been awarded, and it will be presented to Prof Webber by the IASC's president, David Hik, at a science conference in Oslo.

Prof Webber gained his first degree from the University of Reading, and has focused his career on studying what controls the variety, numbers and distribution of plants, animals and micro organisms. He also pioneered a multi-layered mapping method that is now the standard required by regulatory agencies.

As well as working in the Arctic, Prof Webber has also studied the ecology of managed landscapes prevalent in the Midwestern United States, and is particularly concerned by the sustainability of global resources.