Faculty Profile: Dr. Bernard Roitberg, Biological Science

November 03, 2011

We're delighted to profile the winners of the inaugural Dean's Awards for Excellence in Graduate Studies. Dr. Bernard Roitberg received a 2011 award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision.

The 2012 awards are now open for nominations. Nomination deadline is November 15.

Bernard Roitberg’s students rank their time in his research lab as among the best years of their lives. When we asked his current and former students for comments on his supervisory style, we were flooded with enthusiastic feedback.

Many of his students said that he's always generous with his time and support: "There was never an occasion that Bernie was not available to meet with me and discuss problems ranging from securing external funding to developing and analyzing field experiments."

Another former student remarked that Dr. Roitberg “cultivated a warm and intellectually stimulating environment in our lab that fostered collaborations between colleagues which still exist today.” Yet another said he had looked around the country, and found that Dr. Roitberg's lab was that rare “elusive environment where students are both effective and enjoy the experience at the same time”. (His lab meeting schedule includes who's bringing the sweets.)

And it was a remarkably effective research environment: Twenty of his forty graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have gone on to hold full time faculty positions around the world, and many of them are consciously attempting to reproduce his style: “I strive to mentor my own students in a way that emulates Bernie’s guidance.”

Bernie Roitberg is the recipient of a 2011 Excellence in Graduate Supervision award because of his stimulating and creative mentorship and leadership in his department. He has served two terms on the department's graduate studies committee and is director of the Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology Research Group. He has also been a main faculty member in the Master of Pest Management program.

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