Professor John M. Webster is a scientist in the field of nematology. He was a Professor of Biological Sciences at SFU from 1971 to 2001. He remains a Professor Emeritus at SFU.
Professor Webster was born in Wakefield, England on 5 May 1936. He married Carolyn Ann McGillivray in 1970 and they have two children, Gordon John and Sandra Jane. He also has 3 grandchildren.
Webster became interested in biology through the influence of his high school biology teacher who eventually recommended the University of London (Imperial College) for its biology program. While at Imperial College, he focused on parasitology after attending a lecture by the Professor of Parasitology. Eventually, scholarship funding for a PhD in nematology became available and he took it. Webster received a B.Sc. in Zoology with special honours in Parasitology in 1958 and a Ph.D. DIC (Diploma of the Imperial College) in Plant Nematology from the same institution in 1962. Since then he has also received a Senior University Administrator's Diploma from the University of Western Ontario and a D.Sc. in Zoology-Nematology from the University of London, England.
From 1958 to 1961 Webster was a Agricultural Research Scholar at the University of London (Imperial College) and from 1961 to 1966 he was a Scientific Officer at Rothamsted Experimental Station in England, one of the top research stations in Europe at the time. He then moved to Canada where he was a research scientist at the Agriculture Canada Biological Control Research Institute in Belleville, Ontario from 1966-1967.
In 1967, he made the move to university life by accepting the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the newly-formed SFU. He became a full professor in 1971. During his time at SFU Professor Webster held a number of administrative positions including: Dean of Graduate Studies Pro-Tem, 1970-1971; Chair of Biological Sciences, 1974-1976; Dean of Science 1976-1980; Associate Vice-President, Academic, 1980-1985; Associate Vice-President & Dean of Graduate Studies, 1982-1985; University Research Professor, 1987-1988. In 2001 he became Professor Emeritus.
In addition to his research and administrative work at SFU, Webster has also been involved with a number of government related organizations, such as on the executive of the Science Council of Canada, member of the Premiers Advisory Council on Science & Technology, Chair of the Life Sciences Committee of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), member and Chairman of the Board of TRIUMF, member of Council and President of the Western Canadian Universities Marine Biological Society, and the President of the Canadian Academy for the Advancement of Science.
Webster has also served on a number of not-for-profit boards, most notably Capilano College, Vancouver Aquarium and Marine Science Centre, (President and Chairman), Tynehead Zoological Society, and the President of the Arts, Sciences and Technology Centre (Science World).
He is an honorary member of the Canadian Society of Zoologists and the Soicety of Nematologists (USA) and a fellow of the European Society of Nematologists, the Institute of Biology (UK), the Linnean Society of London (UK), and the Society of Nematologists (USA).
From 2001-2006 he was President and CEO of Welichem BioTech Inc and from 2006 to 2012 he was Chief Scientific Officer.
Professor Webster lives in North Vancouver, BC.