Eric M. Hallerman was appointed head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech in August 2006. He has been on the faculty since 1989, rising through the academic ranks and serving as section coordinator for fisheries (1994-98 and 1999-2004) and interim department head (2004). As department head, he is working on initiatives to apply student learning outcome measures to guide curricular reform, to implement a graduate certificate in quantitative resource assessment, and to design and build a wildlife research center. He is active in the Virginia Tech Department Heads Council.
Hallerman has maintained active programs of research and teaching. His research addresses applied population genetics, aquaculture genetics, biotechnology risk assessment, and genetics education. He has written approximately 100 refereed scientific journal articles and is an author or editor of three books, including Population Genetics: Principles and Applications for Fisheries Scientists, published by the American Fisheries Society in 2003. He teaches Conservation Genetics, Applied Conservation Genetics, and other courses as needed.
Hallerman currently serves on the science advisory boards for Yorktown Technologies and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal Aquaculture. In past service, he developed a selectively bred stock of tilapia for a commercial producer in Virginia. He served as president of the Genetics and Introduced Fish sections of the American Fisheries Society, and served on the National Research Council Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology, Health, and the Environment, and the Committee on Defining Science-Based Concerns Associated with Products of Biotechnology. He co-led the development of the Performance Standards for Safely Conducting Research With Genetically Modified Fish and Shellfish for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hallerman was a Fulbright Scholar in Israel in 1998-99. He received the college’s Curriculum Clubs Teaching Award in 2002 and the Excellence in Fisheries Education Award from the American Fisheries Society in 2007. He is a co-holder of a U.S. patent on rapidly identifying food spoilage microbes using polymerase chain reaction.
Hallerman earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Illinois before earning his Ph.D. in fisheries and aquaculture from Auburn University in 1984. He was a postdoctoral researcher at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Minnesota before joining the faculty at Virginia Tech in 1989.
Hallerman and his wife, Ester, live in Blacksburg; they have a daughter, Tamar, and a son, Simon.