Dr. Ebbs is a native of Southern Illinois, but has lived throughout the United States.  After graduating from Virden Community High School (now part of the North Mac Community School District) in 1986, he attended McKendree College (now McKendree University) from 1986 to 1990, graduating with a B.S. in Biology from the Honor’s Program.  His undergraduate thesis, Patterns of sexual dimorphism in a population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus), was the first undergraduate thesis published in The Sigma Zetan, the official publication of the Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honor Society.  After leaving McKendree College, Dr. Ebbs moved to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, to begin his graduate studies in Environmental Toxicology.  His Masters research was carried out at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research on the Cornell campus under the supervision of the late Dr. Leonard Weinstein, examining a trace element interaction between selenium and arsenic in plants.  His dissertation research was conducted at the U.S. Plant, Soil, and Nutrition Laboratory, USDA-ARS under the supervision of Dr. Leon Kochian.  This research examined several facets of heavy metal and radionuclide phytoremediation, including the screening of plants for contaminant bioaccumulation and the use of soil amendments to increase solubility and plant uptake.  The contaminants of focus were zinc, copper, radiocesium and uranium.  Dr. Ebbs followed with a two year post-doctoral position with Dr. Kochian, studying the mechanisms of transport and tolerance in the metal hyperaccumulator Thlaspi caerulescens.  Dr. Ebbs accepted a tenure-track position in the Department of Plant Biology at Southern Illinois University in the fall of 1999.  In August, 2004, Dr. Ebbs was promoted to Associate Professor and then to full professor in July 2013.  During his time at SIUC, Dr. Ebbs has held a three-year term adjunct appointment at Carnegie Mellon University, and has been a visiting professor at Purdue University (2002), the University of Melbourne (2005), and Cornell University (2006).  Since 2008, Dr. Ebbs has served as the Assistant Chair of Plant Biology and has been networking with regional community colleges to aid with undergraduate recruiting.  On November 1, 2011, Dr. Ebbs became the Interim Chair of the Department of Plant Biology.


On the personal side, Dr. Ebbs enjoys the outdoors, exercise, movies, movie trivia, classic science fiction, and computer games.  He also enjoys tending his rose bushes and puttering around doing yard work on the weekends.  If he had the time and money, he’d travel around the world, starting with return visits to Australia, Tasmania, and England.  Other places he’d like to visit include Scotland, Greece, Holland, Italy, and New Zealand.



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SIUC / Plant Biology / Faculty/ Stephen Ebbs

Last updated: 30-Jun-13 / sde