Biology Professor Wins Nature Award for Mentoring

Published on: 2010/11/10 - in Releases

Renowned biologist John Smol has received the 2010 Nature Award for Mentoring in Science. The award recognizes the commitment and dedication Dr. Smol has shown to mentoring his students.

“I am honoured and thrilled to receive this award,” says Dr. Smol. “It is especially precious to me as it was driven by my former students and other colleagues, who remain my close friends. I always seem puzzled when past students say I inspire them, as in fact I have always gotten my inspiration from my students.”

Dr. Smol is one of Canada’s leading ecologists, environmental researchers, and climate change scientists, and is a professor in the department of biology where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and has received more than 25 research and teaching awards, including the 2004 Herzberg Gold Medal as Canada’s top scientist.

Launched in 2005, the annual Nature Awards for Mentoring in Science recognize outstanding scientific mentorship and focus on a specific country or countries each year. 2010 focuses on Canada and more than 50 nominations were submitted for the two awards.

“This is wonderful recognition for Dr. Smol and his continuing commitment to his students and peers,” says Provost and V-P (Academic) Bob Silverman. “He is generous with his time and knowledge and passionate about sharing his expertise. On behalf of the entire Queen’s community, I congratulate him on this well-deserved honour.”

Dr. Smol and fellow biologist and award recipient Chris Wood (McMaster University) received the $10,000 awards at the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies annual meeting in Toronto on November 5.

Since the awards were launched, they have been handed out to leading scientists in the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Germany and Japan.

Professor Smol was also recently appointed to an Oilsands Advisory Panel by Environment Minister Jim Prentice. [read more]