Acadia Celebrates Biology Centenary

Biology faculty, alumni, and students from Acadia University will gather with community members November 5-7 to reflect on the 100-year history of the Department of Biology and the E.C. Smith Herbarium. As part of the symposium, the university will also mark the 25th anniversary of the Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research and honour well-known Nova Scotia naturalists Fred Scott and John Gilhen with honorary degrees.

"Over the years, Acadia University - through its biology faculty, students, and alumni - has created important links to the medical and environmental sectors, and made significant contributions to research, and lasting impacts on communities," says Dr. Tom Herman, Acadia's Vice-President, Academic. "It is a long history that makes us very proud."

Schedule of Events:

On Friday, November 5 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., participants will gather at the New Biology Building at 33 Westwood Avenue, Wolfville.

On Saturday, November 6, there will be a symposium marking 100 Years of Achievement with a variety of presentations given by alumni and faculty.  The presentations will highlight key areas of the department's history and connections with the community.   The day begins at 8:45 a.m. at the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre Auditorium.

At 4:45 p.m., the university will confer honorary doctorate of science degrees to naturalists Fred Scott and John Gilhen at the Irving Centre. A banquet will follow at 6:30 p.m. at the Fountain Commons.

Registration is required.

For complete details visit: 

Or contact:

Rodger Evans
(902) 585-1710


Glenys Gibson
(902) 585-1250


About John Gilhen

John Gilhen was born in Halifax in 1941 with a passion for natural history. He has long been associated with the Nova Scotia Museum, first as a volunteer at age 11 to present, as curator emeritus. He has published 75 papers and technical reports mostly on the fishes, amphibians and reptiles of Nova Scotia. Two classic books The Fishes of Nova Scotia's Lakes and Streams (1974) and Amphibians and Reptiles of Nova Scotia (1984) are still in wide use. He relied on the artistic and editorial talents of his colleague and friend Fred Scott and reciprocated by being an invaluable field assistant in small mammal surveys. He was instrumental in establishing the Atlantic Whitefish Conservation and Recovery Team and has served as co-chair since its founding in 1999.He is a member of the Blanding's Turtle, Wood Turtle and Northern Ribbon snake conservation and recovery teams. He considers education extremely important and has given talks to students and the general public. He reviews papers mostly for the Canadian Field Naturalist and was guest editor for the Northeastern Naturalist. Gilhen was recipient of Rotary International Gold Wheel Award for science and technology in 2000 and CARCNET Blue Racer Award in recognition of his long-standing contributions to the research and conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Canada.

About Fred Scott

Fred W. Scott first joined the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History in November 1965, retired in 1995 as Assistant Curator of Zoology and joined the Acadia Biology Department a month later. In 1975-77 he took a leave of absence to become Curator of Natural History at the National Museum of Papua New Guinea. In Nova Scotia, he became particularly interested in our small mammals, many of which are rare, and discovered the long-tailed shrew in Nova Scotia in 1984. He and Tom Herman have co-authored several papers on the impacts of climate warming on Nova Scotia wildlife. He chaired the Steering Committee of the first Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas, and co-founded and chaired the Nova Scotia Herp Atlas in the 1990s. He is also involved in species at risk issues and has been a member of the Nova Scotia Species at Risk Working Group, the COSEWIC Lepidoptera Subcommittee, and the IUCN North American Rodent Specialist Group. He is also a scientific illustrator. His long-term goal is to write a book on the mammals of Nova Scotia.




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