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Dates of existence
The Department of Biological Sciences was established in 1965 as a department in the Faculty of Science. From its inception, the department offered a broad curriculum leading to B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees. The overall mission of the Department was to provide instruction in Biology and, by research, to increase the knowledge base in Biological Sciences. This mission encapsulated four broad areas of responsibility: to provide broad-based undergraduate instruction in modern biology; to provide graduate training leading to Master of Pest Management (M.P.M.), M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees; to provide a work environment and facilities for faculty, researchers, and graduate students; and to provide for expansion and development of research and graduate training and to foster the development of intra- and interdepartmental Centres and Institutes designed to promote collaborative research and training. With the opening of the Pestology Centre in 1967, it began its specialization in pest management and the role of nurturing an international centre for excellence in research and teaching in the field.
The Department was administered by the Chair and two standing committees: Departmental Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (DUCC) and the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee (DGSC). The Chair was responsible for the overall administration of the Department, including the operational budget, faculty tenure and salary recommendations, teaching assignments and representation of the Department. The DUCC was responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of the undergraduate program. The DGSC was responsible for graduate admission recommendations, monitoring the progress of graduate students, and developing criteria and methodology for student evaluation for purposes of scholarships. By 1990, two further committees had been added: the Departmental Tenure Committee and the Committee on Space. The Departmental Assistant and Lab Coordinator were responsible for much of day-to-day administration of the Department. The Departmental Assistant reported to the Chair, who in turn reported to the Dean of Science. The Pestology Centre, renamed the Centre for Pest Management in the 1980s, was headed by a Director, who was responsible for the planning and development of programs within the Centre and the promotion of external relations. The Director was also actively involved in a number of international organizations for biological control and entomological research. The Director reported to the Department Chair.
The Department was involved in or associated with university interdisciplinary research institutes which conducted both research and instruction. These included the Centre for Pest Management and the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (IMBB). The IMBB was established in 1987 as an interdisciplinary graduate research institute, and its members held appointments in Biological Sciences and/or Chemistry. The Department was also affiliated with several bodies responsible for research. These research groups included the Behavioural Ecology Research Group (BERG), the Chemical Ecology Research Group (CERG), the Institute of Aquaculture Research (IAR), the Institute of Quaternary Research (IQR), the R.H. Wright Institute for Sensory Science (WISS), and the Western Canadian Universities Marine Biological Society (WCUMBS).
From its inception the department expanded greatly in terms of the size of its faculty and the number of programs offered. In 1965, the department consisted of six faculty, and increased to thirty by 1969 and forty by 1994. A significant addition to its program offerings was the establishment in 1973 of the Master of Pest Management degree program.
The first Director of the Centre for Pest Management was Dr. Bryan P. Beirne, who served until 1980. In 1986, Dr. J.P. Manfred Mackauer became the new Director, and he was succeeded by Dr. Zamir Punja in 1993.