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George L. Barron

Doctor of Science

Born in Grangemouth, Scotland, in 1928, George Barron earned a Bachelor of Science degree with First Class Honors in Botany at the University of Glasgow followed by a Master of Science in Plant Pathology from the University of Toronto and two doctoral degrees ? a Ph.D. in Mycology from the Iowa State University in 1958 and a Doctor of Science in Mycology from the University of Glasgow in 1984. He is a retired Professor of Environmental Biology at the University of Guelph.

Regarded as one of the most prominent scientists in Canada, his reputation for exceptional work in mycology is world-wide and has resulted in him being regarded as Canada?s leading mycologist. He has published on almost every group of fungi, including three notable books, the last of which was Mushrooms of Ontario and Eastern Canada, 1999. In completing this latter book, he visited Saint Mary's University, gave an outstanding seminar, and went on field exercises with Saint Mary's University mycology students and local naturalists. The specimens and records he collected from Nova Scotia provided valuable data that aided in the completion of his book. He is known internationally not only as a mycologist but also as a photographer of fungi and his illustrations are to be found not only on his website and in numerous publications of other authors, but even on calendars.

Dr. Doug Strongman, Professor of Biology at Saint Mary's University, and a former student of Dr. Barron, remarked that his ?reputation as an educator is no less renowned that his recognition as a world-class mycologist. Unlike other professors at large institutions, he focused his attention on undergraduate students to the extent that students who passed through his course in mycology 20 years ago still mark the experience as one of the most memorable in their careers?.

It is not surprising that Dr. Barron has been the recipient of a significant number of awards and honors. These include Goldsmiths Company of London Travel Fellowship; Nuffield Foundation Travel Fellowship; George Lawson Medal from the Canadian Botanical Association; and in 1998 the Distinguished Mycologist Award. In addition, he has published widely and been a source of significant inspirations to decades of students.

Now retired from the University of Guelph, he has been married to Mae Thomson since October 1953 and they have four children ? two girls, Lesley and Laurie and two sons, Scott and Stuart together with seven grandchildren.