Professor Emeritus in Biological Sciences
Convocation Ceremony: May, 2019
Dr. John Johnson has been an active and engaged member of the University of New Brunswick community for more than 35 years; he obtained his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from UNB in 1984, 1986 and 1991 respectively, and joined the faculty of UNB Saint John as a lecturer in 1989.
In the 28 years that John served UNB as a faculty member, his commitment to the University and its faculty, staff and students never faltered. John has made exceptional contributions to UNB and has been recognised with multiple awards including: a UNB Merit Award for outstanding contributions to the University (1997), the Allan P Stuart Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013), the University Teaching Scholar award (2015), the President’s Medal for distinguished service (2015) and selection as the UNB Saint John Honorary Graduate (2017).
Although John’s recent retirement has brought some aspects of his distinguished career to a close, his appointment as an Honorary Research Professor allows his continued participation as an active researcher and mentor.
It is impossible to adequately summarize John’s contributions to the University because of their quantity, diversity and magnitude. He has taught more than 25 different courses to myriad undergraduate students, he has coordinated the Biology Honours programme, supervised 33 Honours and 12 graduate students, served on more than 21 graduate supervisory committees and examined a similar number of graduate theses from universities all around the world.
John has published 56 research papers and authored 30 technical reports for government, industry and as a consultant and expert witness. He co-founded the UNB Natural Products Research Group and has been co-principal investigator of the group for 12 years. He has held honorary and adjunct appointments at the University of Plymouth (UK), the Indian Mycology Institute (Chennai, India) and Dalhousie University Medical School, and his research has been funded by more than $2 million through grants from more than 25 different agencies including CIDA, NSERC, the Government of Bermuda, the British Council, NBIF and NBHRF.
In addition to his commendable records in both teaching and research, John has an extraordinary record of university service as a faculty member and administrator. He has completed four terms on the UNB Board of Governors, has served as Acting Assistant Vice-President, held academic appointments as the UNB Saint John Registrar twice, filled senior positions on numerous task-forces, working groups, steering committees, strategy groups and eight search and/or review committees at the presidential and vice-presidential levels. He has led various special projects and helped negotiate the agreements that facilitated the development of the Dalhousie Medical New Brunswick program and the co-location of UNB, NBCC and Dalhousie Medical NB at Tucker Park. He was a UNB Senator for 16 years, served on the Executive Committee of AUNBT, a member of the UNB collective agreement negotiating team and chaired or served on more than 100 other committees at all levels within the university.
The University of New Brunswick has benefited immeasurably from John’s excellence as a teacher and mentor, his scholarship and research as a mycologist and plant pathologist, and his dedicated service and leadership as an administrator. Dr. Johnson is a valued and a highly-respected member of the UNB community, beloved by students and colleagues alike, who has always served the university with commitment, distinction and quiet, authentic enthusiasm. Today, in recognition of his exceptional achievements and service, we bestow the honorary rank of Professor Emeritus in Biological Sciences at the University of New Brunswick.