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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
October 25, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Dr. Robert McCauley

Dr. McCauley was the third member of the Biology Department. His main are of expertise was fish physiology and he was one of the pioneers in the study of temperature on fish survival. He came to Laurier from the Ontario government where he was involved in developing proper procedures for maintaining fish in hatcheries and how to reduce fish mortality during transportation. For him practical applications were as important as theoretical considerations.

At Laurier he developed courses in animal physiology, fish biology and limnology. In the courses fish biology and limnology he was a strong believer in requiring students to experience field work.  He also continued his interest in lethal temperature studies on fish at Laurier, publishing papers well past his retirement. Often these papers were in conjunction with other researchers throughout the world. He was an active participant on global warming discussions and how fish populations may be affected. Associated with his concern for the aquatic environment he also was one of the early investigators of the zebra mussel and used physiological techniques to help separate it from a related Great Lakes invader.

His interest went beyond the professional scientific community. He strongly believed that scientists should communicate with the population at large. This prompted him to write scientific articles in general publications such as newspapers to inform and amuse the public.