Distinguished Queen’s professor appointed to the Order of Ontario

Dr. John Smol has been appointed to the Order of Ontario. Photo via Queen’s University website.

Distinguished Queen’s University professor and one of the world’s foremost experts on long-term changes to lakes and rivers, Dr. John P. Smol, has been appointed to the Order of Ontario.

According to the Ontario government, the Order of Ontario is the province’s highest civilian honour. It is reserved for Ontarians from all fields of endeavour and backgrounds, whose excellence has left a lasting legacy in the province, Canada and around the world. Members of the Order are a collective of Ontario’s finest citizens, whose contributions have shaped – and continue to shape – the province’s history and place in Canada.

The Order of Ontario was created in 1986 and the first appointments were made in 1987. Members of the Order of Ontario are invested with their insignia by the Lieutenant Governor as the Queen’s representative.

There are 26 appointees for the 2022 Order of Ontario, which will be bestowed by the incoming Lieutenant Governor, Edith Dumont, in a ceremony taking place on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.

Dr. Smol founded and now co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) at Queen’s University, where he also held the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change for the maximum three seven-year terms (2001-2022). He became a faculty member at Queen’s in 1984, and was promoted to Full Professor in 1991. Dr. Smol holds and has held adjunct appointments in Canada, the United States, and China.

Dr. Smol holding a Glew lake sediment corer in his lab at Queen`s University. Photo via Queen’s University website.

PEARL consists of a group of about 40 paleolimnologists (researchers studying long-term changes in aquatic ecosystems using lake and river sediments as archives of long-term natural and human-related environmental change) working throughout the world on a variety of limnological and paleoecological problems. According to the PEARL website, recent projects include studying the long-term effects of lake eutrophication, acidification, contaminant transport, calcium decline, fisheries management, and a large body of work on climate change with a special focus on the arctic.

Dr. Smol was the founding editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology and is currently in his fourth 5-year term as editor-in-chief of the journal Environmental Reviews. He is also the series editor of the book series Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research and is on the editorial boards of 11 other journals. His many achievements are outlined on the PEARL website.

“I am delighted and honoured to be named an Order of Ontario recipient and yet it always feels odd to get a recognition for something you love doing – namely teaching, writing, and doing research and public outreach. I came to Ontario (and Kingston) as a graduate student, and never left. I feel very privileged to be able to work on lakes and other environmental issues in such a beautiful city, in such a beautiful province, and in such a beautiful country,” Dr. Smol shared with Kingstonist.

Upon admission to the Order of Ontario, members are invested with the Order’s insignia (a distinguishing mark or emblem worn to signify membership or achievement). Appointees are given the post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials or post-nominal titles (letters placed after a person’s name) to indicate the honour held by the individual.

“As Chancellor of the Order of Ontario, I am proud to recognize the Order’s 2022 appointees. These remarkable Ontarians demonstrate outstanding merit and excellence in many diverse disciplines, including the arts, science, education, sports, and human rights,” said Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell.

“In reflecting the best of Ontario, they inspire the best in ourselves. On behalf of a grateful province, I offer my warmest congratulations.”

For the full list of the 2022 Order of Ontario inductees, visit the Ontario government website.

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