Dr. John Smol – Doctor of Science (’24)


Dr. John Smol is one of the leading environmental scientists of our time.

His ability to identify environmental and ecological challenges and his list of research, teaching and service accomplishments are extensive. Dr. Smol founded the Palaeoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL) at Queen’s University, studying long-term global environmental change as it relates to lake ecosystems. He has authored over 700 journal publications and chapters since 1980 and completed 23 books. Since 1990, he has received more than 100 research and teaching awards and fellowships, including the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal as Canada’s top scientist.

In 2013, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2018 a Fellow of the Royal Society (London). Also in 2013, he received the Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research, and in 2019 was elected President of the Academy of Science, Royal Society of Canada. In 2020, he received the Massey Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for outstanding career achievement.

Dr. Smol does what many scientists, artists or scholars aspire to do; he moves beyond the somewhat constraining platform of academia and easily engages with students, the public, media, policymakers, and politicians to ensure that his findings enact changes that benefit the environment and Canadians.

Dr. Smol will convocate on Thursday, May 16, at 2:30 p.m.