Professor John Smol FRSC, and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, is the founding editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology.
He received his B.Sc. in Marine Biology from McGill University in Montreal in 1977, and an M.Sc. in limnology from Brock University in 1979. His Ph.D. in 1982 is from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Following post-doctoral work in the High Arctic with the Geological Survey of Canada, he became a faculty member at Queen’s University in 1984.
John co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) at Queen’s University and has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the National Research Council’s Steacie Prize, the Society of Canadian Limnologists’ Rigler Award and the Canada Council Killam Fellowship.
In 2003, he was presented with the NSERC Award for Excellence and was again honoured by NSERC in 2004 with the Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal, as Canada’s top scientist or engineer.
In 2007, John was presented with the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography “For outstanding contributions and leadership in bridging paleolimnology with limnology, ecology, and the environmental sciences, as well as his seminal work on polar limnology and environmental change.”
John was presented with his second medal from the Royal Society of Canada in 2008 — the Flavelle Medal for outstanding contributions to biology. In 2009, the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education presented John with a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, considered by many to be Canada’s highest teaching award. Shortly afterwards, John won the 2009 Killam Prize in the field of natural sciences, which is the highest career achievement award presented by the Canada Council, and later that week the Premier of Ontario presented him with the Premier’s Discovery Award for the Life Sciences and Medicine, the province’s highest award for academic achievement.