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John Smol, FRSC
RSC Council | President, Academy of Science
Year of Induction: 


JOHN P. SMOL, OC, PhD, FRSC, FRS is professor of biology at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change.

Smol founded and co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), a group of ~40 students and other scientists dedicated to the study of long-term global environmental change, and especially as it relates to lake ecosystems. John has authored over 580 journal publications and chapters since 1980, as well as completed 21 books (with 3 more in preparation). Much of his research deals with the impacts of climatic change, acidification, eutrophication, contaminant transport, and other environmental stressors. John is a frequent commentator on environmental issues for radio, television, and the print media. Smol was the founding Editor of the J. Paleolimnology (1987-2007) and is current Editor of Environmental Reviews.  Since 1990 he has received 6 honorary doctorates and has been awarded >70 research and teaching awards and fellowships, including 3 medals from the RSC: the Miroslav Romanowski Medal for environmental sciences, the Flavelle Medal for biological sciences, and in 2015 the McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science. Other awards include an NSERC Steacie Fellowship, the Steacie Prize, a Canada Council Killam Fellowship, the Geological Association of Canada Past-Presidents’ Medal, the Botanical Society of America Darbaker Prize, the Rigler Prize from the Society of Canadian Limnology, an NSERC Award of Excellence, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Hutchinson Award, the Killam Prize for the Natural Sciences from the Canada Council, the Premier’s Discovery Award for Life Sciences and Medicine and the Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research. In 2012, the Chinese Academy of Sciences bestowed on Dr. Smol the title of Einstein Professor. In 2004, he was awarded the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal, as Canada’s top scientist or engineer.  John was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013 for his environmental work and in 2018 a Fellow of the Royal Society (London).