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William Claus

Associate Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences

Born:  1936, Council Bluffs, Iowa

  • 1959 B.S. Bacteriology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  • 1964 Ph.D. Physiological Bacteriology, Iowa State University
  • 1964-1965 Biochemist, Microbiology Division, U.S. Army Medical Unit, Fort Detrick, MD (1st Lt.)
  • 1965-1966 Cheif, Microbiology Division, U.S. Army Medical Unit, Fort Detrick, MD (Capt.)
  • 1966 Lecturer in Microbiology, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1966-1973 Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
  • 1973 Joined the Biology Department at Virginia Tech

For 36 years, Claus's research and that of his students has addressed various aspects of microbial physiology, such as heavy metal resistance in Gluconobacter as well as important applied contributions including long-term monitoring of the Virginia Tech Duck Ponds, input and outlet streams for fecal coliforms all this leading to >30 publications and two texts. Over the numerous years teaching General Microbiology, Advanced Microbiology, Physiology of Microorganisms, and other classes, Claus has made major contributions to the improvement of teaching techniques for enhancing student learning. He has experimented with Active (Cooperative) Learning in large classes. Not surprisingly, he has received a number of awards including Teaching Excellence in the College of Arts & Sciences (1981, 1985), Outstanding Biology Undergraduate Advising (1987), Outstanding Biology Teacher (1994), American Society of Microbiology Teaching Award (1996). Claus directed 24 graduate degrees before retiring in 2002.

September 7, 2007: George William Claus honored with emeritus status