March 14, 2017
Dr. Stephen Ebbs, Professor and Chair of Plant Biology, passed away on March 13, 2017 following a brave battle with leukemia. The Department, College, University, many colleagues around the world, and students throughout SIU from all disciplines on campus and extended through distance education will miss his presence in their lives. Dr. Ebbs received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1997. He possessed globally sought expertise on the transport, fate, and behavior of contaminants in plants. He was an accomplished researcher, with more than fifty peer-reviewed publications and substantial external funding. He performed significant professional service as the Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal of Phytoremediation andthrough his leadership role in Sigma Xi. Dr. Ebbs was equally dedicated to teaching, known to many students as “one of the best professors” they have ever had, and a pioneer of distance education in the state of Illinois. Dr. Ebbs had an enthusiastic lecture style, used modern means of information transfer, and was devoted to responding promptly to student needs. He mentored more than twenty undergraduate student researchers and directly oversaw numerous theses and dissertations during his career at SIU. In addition to research and teaching, Dr. Ebbs served SIU in significant ways through his long-term participation on Faculty Senate and the Core Curriculum Executive Council. In 2012, Dr. Ebbs became Chair of the Department of Plant Biology. As Chair, Dr. Ebbs was committed to ensuring the persistence of a small department known for creating a welcoming, secure, and opportunity-providing atmosphere for undergraduate majors in one of the most research active departments on campus. Dr. Ebbs will be remembered for his endless crusade to recruit more students to SIU, phenomenal expertise in plant physiology, passion for teaching, and willingness to serve SIU, every student individually, and our community. Our thoughts and hearts are with his family, friends, and colleagues. More information about his memorial service is forthcoming.