On Friday I was awarded the J.D. Detwiler Award from the Department of Biology at the University of Western Ontario. This award is given to a graduating MSc or PhD student who demonstrated excellence in their thesis and defence. I'm honoured to have received the award, and it's humbling to read about the life of such an impressive scientist.

John D. Detwiler was an accomplished educator and entomologist, which makes receiving this award all the more meaningful. He was an elementary and high school teacher before being hired as an instructor at Cornell University (1918-1921). In 1921, Dr. Detwiler arrived at Western as an Assistant Professor of Zoology before becoming an Associate Professor in 1925. He served as head of the Department of Zoology and Applied Biology from 1946-1949. In addition to his service at the University, Dr. Detwiler was an investigator for the Biological Board of Canada, the Department of Mines and Fisheries, and the Department of Game and Fisheries.

Dr. Detwiler's career in research and conservation is something to be admired. He wrote on topics as varied as the endocrine control of insect moulting, biological pest control (both in agriculture and in your own backyard), predator and prey coevolution, and the importance of zoological education programs. I can only hope that my own career is a fraction as interesting as that of Dr. Detwiler.

A detailed archive of the life and career of Dr. J.D. Detwiler can be accessed at the University of Waterloo Library here.

AuthorHeath MacMillan