Winner of the 2014 D.C. White Research and Mentoring Award is Edward Leadbetter, Ph.D., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Presented in honor of D.C. White, who was known for his interdisciplinary scientific approach and being a dedicated and inspiring mentor, Leadbetter’s career epitomizes these characteristics. Former graduate student, Lisa Gorski, U.S. Department of Agriculture, says, “All students came to him for advice and his door was always open. He helped countless microbiology students over the years to move on in the field.”
Leadbetter graduated from Franklin & Marshall College where he was mentored by long-time ASM member Ralph Slepecky. He received his Ph.D from the University of Texas, Austin, where he met his wife of 57+ years, Gloria. Leadbetter spent almost 20 years at Amherst College, mentoring dozens of exceptional undergraduates. In 1978, he moved to The University of Connecticut, where he continued to mentor before retiring in 2005.
During his career, Ed enjoyed pursuing novel microbial activities: from hydrocarbon oxidation, to the utilization of novel electron donors by sulfur and non-sulfur phototrophs. He has been an active ASM member and also spent a year at the National Science Foundation as a program director.
In 1971, Leadbetter was asked to join the summer faculty at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, recently honored as an "ASM Milestones in Microbiology" site. Leadbetter remained active with the program for many years, influencing numerous students. Now retired, he has enjoyed being a guest investigator in the laboratory of Virginia Edgcomb at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.