Paul W. Webb

Professor Emeritus


PhD, University of Bristol (zoology)

B. Sc. University of Bristol (zoology)


Paul Webb holds a joint appointment with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Teaching includes Ecological Issues and mainly independent studies and projects, especially with undergraduates on aquatic restoration. Research includes physiological ecology and functional morphology of aquatic vertebrates, primarily fishes. Research seeks to identify and understand fundamental principles of energetics and form and function, which in turn affect distributions of fishes and their populations and assemblages. These interests are currently focusing on how physical factors shape shorelines and hence shoreline fish communities, affecting management and restoration. Another area of research concerns factors that affect fish assemblages in coastal marshes. Much of these researches are done in collaboration with faculty in the engineering school.


His research explored the effects of locomotor mechanics and functional morphology on habitat selection, species distribution, and evolutionary patterns; the structure of freshwater marsh assemblages; the distribution and flow of materials and energy acquired as food within fishes; the effects of environmental perturbation, including anthropocentric factors; and predator-prey interactions. A gifted teacher and dedicated mentor, he taught several popular courses, including Biology of Fishes, Comparative Vertebrate Morphology, and Introduction to Animal Physiology.


Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Select publications: 
  • Webb, P. W. 1971a. The swimming energetics of trout. I) Thrust and power output at cruising speeds. J. Exp. Biol. 55; 489-520.
  • Webb, P. W. 1971b. The swimming energetics of trout. II) Oxygen consumption and swimming efficiency. J. Exp. Biol. 55; 521-540.
  • Webb, P. W. and J. R. Brett. 1972a. Respiratory adaptations of prenatal young in the ovary of two species of viviparous seaperch, Rhacochilus vacca and Embiotoca lateralis. J. Fish. Res. Bd Canada 29; 1525-1542.  
  • Webb, P. W. and J. R. Brett. 1972b. Oxygen consumption of embryos and parents, and oxygen transfer characteristics within the ovary of two species of viviparous seaperch, Rhacochilus vacca and Embiotoca lateralis. J. Fish. Res. Bd Canada 29; 1543-1553. Reprinted (1979) p. 406-418 in Readings in Ichthyology. (Eds. M. S. Love and G. M. Cailliet). Goodyear, Santa Monica, CA. Paul W. Webb page 6
  • Webb, P. W. and J. R. Brett. 1972c. The effects of sublethal concentrations of whole bleached kraftmill effluent on the growth and food conversion efficiency of underyearling sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka). J. Fish. Res. Bd Canada 29; 1555-1563.


Les Cheneaux Economic Forum, Natural Resources group, contributor (1996-2003)
Facilitator: Restore the Greatness: Great Lakes Workshop (2003)
Participant in Academic Leadership Project prioritizing Executive and Lifelong Learning needs for employed of Government Agencies (1995)
University of Michigan Fellow in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation Academic Leadership Program (1993-1994)

Professor Webb's outreach activities ranged from the technology transfer of concepts to aid in natural resource management and planning in coastal communities, to building capacity in the sciences by teaching at the University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

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