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Auburn University Faculty Awards

Auburn University Faculty Awards

Creative Research and Scholarship Award

This award honors the research achievements and contributions of faculty who have distinguished themselves through research, scholarly works and/or creative contributions to their fields.

Rex A. Dunham
Alumni Professor - Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures - History
College of Agriculture

Picture of Rex A. Dunham

Rex Dunham received his bachelor of science from the University of Illinois, his master of science and doctorate from Auburn University, and he joined the faculty at Auburn University in 1981 upon graduation. He has served as program leader for the Genetic Enhancement and Breeding Program for The World Fish Center; the board of trustees for the Genetic Improvement of Farmed Tilapia Foundation International; and as scientific director for Eagle Aquaculture. His research focuses on genetic improvement of farmed catfish via selective breeding, interspecific hybridization, and transgenesis as well as the population genetics of wild fish. Recent emphasis has been on artificial reproduction of catfish and transgenic sterilization. He has produced more than 200 scientific publications, received $14 million in grants, authored a book, received a patent for cecropin transgenic catfish, was the first to produce and environmentally assess transgenic fish in the United States, and released several improved genotypes to the catfish industry. His work has lead to the widespread use of catfish selectively bred or crossbred for improved body weight. Recently, his research has led to the adoption and expanded use of channel-blue hybrid catfish in the industry and the establishment of a company, Eagle Aquaculture, specializing in this hybrid. Policy for genetic management of native populations of sportfish in the Southeast has been influenced by his work. He is an Alumni Professor and has received the Alabama Agriculture Experience Station Director's Research Award and the Catfish Farmers of America Distinguished Research Award. His gene transfer research was recognized in the Congressional Record, and his research featured in Science magazine. He was chairman of the Genetics Section and delivered the keynote address for their conference on Aquaculture in the Third Millennium.