Barry Warner

PhD (BiSc),  1984

Barry Warner completed a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in 1984 under the supervision of Dr. Rolf Mathewes. The title of his dissertation was: “Late Quaternary paleoecology of eastern Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia” which focused on attempting to shed light on whether the Queen Charlotte Islands were glaciated or not during the last Ice Age. He was the first recipient at SFU of the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence in Graduate Studies. Upon graduation, he went to the University of Helsinki as an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow and subsequently became a faculty member as an NSERC University Research Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Waterloo. That was 30 years ago and he remained at uWaterloo ever since. His research and teaching has evolved and broadened greatly throughout his career from where it started with the study of the geology and paleoecology of peatlands only. He expanded his work to include various aspects of ecology, conservation, restoration and ecological engineering of not just peatlands, but all kinds of wetlands in many different parts of North America and the world. He was recognized with the National Wetland Award from the Government of Mexico in 2005 and continue to work there, most recently on a wetland classification for Mexico which they hope will be published next year. Most recently, he was co-leader for Canada on an international project aimed at restoring the famous marshes and homeland of the marsh people in southern Iraq. Barry is a Past President of the Society of Wetland Scientists, the first non-US resident elected to this position. Currently, he serves as Canada’s representative to the Scientific Technical Review Panel for RAMSAR, the international agreement for the Conservation of Wetlands. Also, Barry is a member of the Nation of Mohawks of Akwesasne, Turtle Clan. He is working to have the first wetlands on First Nations Territorial Lands to be recognized as of International Importance by RAMSAR.

As most academics, he continue to teach and do research and have become progressively more involved in university administration. Barry has just completed seven years as Chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and right now he is taking a breather from administration. He plans to take a more active role in developing innovative teaching approaches for our undergraduates and raise greater awareness for wetland conservation amongst the general public.

-Written by the Faculty of Science

Published in March 2016


Science I Technology


Biological Sciences


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