(The Many-Coloured Land - a Vancouver Nightscape of Harbour Tugs by K. Holland)
Welcome to my Home Page. In addition to the usual biographical material "web-sters" look for I have also included information regarding the working philosophy of the laboratory, some of our present work, some of our past work, and our collaborations.
For students in the courses I teach in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, there are also some links to topics which you might find helpful with respect to university life, careers, and the future.If you have any questions or comments, I would appreciate hearing from you. You can e-mail me at: email@example.com.
I received my bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia. As many of the professors then were from McGill, the undergraduate programme in biopsychology was heavily influenced by the "McGill Model" - which continues to have national influence to this day.
The early years of undergraduate life were rather uninspiring. The UBC campus - like any major campus - was huge and daunting; the science curriculum at the freshman and sophomore years were formulaic and crammed with ambitious, materialistic "pre-med" students. It was not until my third year, when I tumbled onto psychology, that university life became rich and intellectually stimulating. The mix of young, talented professors and their students provided a heady environment for an ex-physics major like me.
I went on to do master's work at Dalhousie University in Halifax. I was a student of Graham Goddard, one of the co-discovers of the "kindling model" of experimental epilepsy. As with his other students, I was originally involved in electrophysiological studies of the brain but I soon switched to ethology. Quite simply, I found the prospect of working with living organisms in dynamic social systems in nature more appealing than fiddling with electrodes in darkened laboratories in the wee hours of the maritime night. My thesis was on the advertising song of the Savannah Sparrow (then called Passerculus sandwichensis, now called P. ammodramus ).
The thesis involved much field work both in Nova Scotia and Ontario. It was during those years I came to appreciate the vast beauty of Canada and the sensibility of the maritimers.
For my doctoral work, I went to Carleton University in Ottawa. At the time it was one of the finest "middle-sized universities" in Canada and had a very active research programme in psychology. My advisor was Dan McIntyre, himself a former student of Goddard's and also a co-discoverer of the kindling effect. Dan was, and is, an extremely lively spirit with an agile, prodigious mind and a gentle spirit. He is an all-too-rare example that a fine scholar could - and should - embody refinement at all levels, not just intellectual ones.
My doctoral thesis was a continuation of ethological interests. It focussed on the development of social interactions in rainbow trout (then called Salmo gairdneri, now called Oncorhynchus mykiss ) and brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis ). I guess you know you have been studying a species a long, long while when the Latin names are different now than when you started!!
I have been at the University of Lethbridge for some while now, first as a post-doctoral fellow with Robert Sutherland (now at the University of New Mexico) and then shortly after as a faculty member. The work has centred on what may be called "conservational ethology" in which my students and I look at basic aspects of the behavioural profile of a species - usually an endangered one - and apply those aspects to the conservation, rehabilitation, and restoration of that species. Currently, we are working on endangered populations of native Canadian fishes (walleye, bull trout) and birds of prey (the Burrowing Owl, the Bald Eagle). Links to these projects are found below.
I would be remiss in excluding discussion of my students. Although the University of Lethbridge is essentially still an undergraduate institution, the students who have made their way to my classes and laboratory have been of a very high quality. The very best of these have been, in the language of a by-gone era, postively imperial. The qualities of such superstudents are discussed elsewhere. Suffice it to say that it is interacting with such students, and discussing with them their ideas, hopes, and aspirations that makes university life rewarding. They not only renew one's belief that there will be a tommorow but that it will be better tomorrow.
Thanks for visiting.
Teaching Graduate School)
Alberta Birds of Prey Centre
Some of my students on the Web
University of Lethbridge