Biochemistry expert new Faculty of Science Dean at Oshawa’s Ontario Tech University

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Published June 28, 2024 at 10:17 am

Ontario Tech Faculty of Science
Ontario Tech Faculty of Science

A plant biochemistry expert will be helping grow tomorrow’s scientists as the new Dean of Ontario Tech University’s Faculty of Science, effective September 1.

Dr. Ken Wilson is currently an Associate Professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Biology and has held numerous administrative roles at the school, including heading up the Biology department, where he expanded student enrolment, led the development of a new certificate program in Biological Research, received several teaching excellence awards and helped raise funds for student scholarships and awards.

“I see Ontario Tech University as a rising star in the Canadian academic landscape,” said Wilson, who added he was “excited” for the opportunity to lead the Oshawa university’s Faculty of Science and work with the university’s senior leadership team and the community “to advance exciting research, high-quality instruction, and thoughtful community engagement in an environment where everyone feels valued and respected for who they are and what they do.”

As Vice-Provost of Faculty Relations at the University of Saskatchewan, Wilson led faculty recruitment and retention, supported and mentored faculty members and advanced research excellence through the creation of new research chairs.

Currently, he also serves as Acting Head of the university’s Indigenous Studies department, where he facilitates reverse mentoring of senior leaders by junior staffers. He also supports pre-tenure faculty member leadership development and develops new internal procedures to streamline decision-making and improve program delivery. He has participated in the highest levels of university governance in Saskatoon and worked closely with students, staff and faculty to develop new pathways to graduate education.

In 2023 he received the Rawson Professorship, which is awarded to a senior faculty member in the Biology department for distinguished service, as elected by the faculty.

His research at the school focuses on how photosynthetic organisms detect changes in their environment and respond to protect themselves from stress and cellular damage. He also investigates how the microbial nature of green algae can be used to develop and test theories related to plants’ detection of and response to such changes.

Wilson holds a PhD in Plant Sciences from Western University. He also holds a Master of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, both from the University of Waterloo.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Ken Wilson to Ontario Tech University in the role of Dean, Faculty of Science,” said Ontario Tech Provost and Vice-President Dr. Lori Livingston. “Dr. Wilson has established a record of distinguished scholarship and teaching, along with fastidious attention to detail and a commitment to the role the university community plays in promoting societal well-being. Through his support and encouragement of underrepresented faculty and students, he demonstrates a strong appreciation for diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Dr. Ken Wilson. Ontario Tech University’s incoming Dean of the Faculty of Science

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