» Go to news main

Royal ascent: Five Dalhousie scholars bestowed one of Canada’s highest academic honours

Posted by Andrew Riley on September 6, 2022 in News
Clockwise from top left: Christine Chambers, John Crowley, Karen Foster, John Archibald, Aaron MacNeil. (Provided images)
Clockwise from top left: Christine Chambers, John Crowley, Karen Foster, John Archibald, Aaron MacNeil. (Provided images)

Today (Sept. 6, 2022) the Royal Society of Canada added five world-class researchers from Dalhousie to its ranks in recognition of their outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievements. This includes three Fellows and two new Members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Dalhousie’s newest Fellows are John Archibald of the Faculty of Medicine, Christine Chambers of the Faculties of Science and Medicine, and John Crowley of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science. They join 2,558 Fellows from across the country, distinguished Canadians from all branches of learning elected by their peers for contributions in the arts, humanities and sciences, as well as in Canadian public life.

Dalhousie’s two new Members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists are Dr. Karen Foster of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, and Dr. Aaron MacNeil of the Faculty of Science. Their membership recognizes their emergence as research leaders at an early stage in their careers who have demonstrated high levels of achievement.

“Recognition by the Royal Society of Canada is among the highest honours of Canadian academic life,” says Alice Aiken, Dalhousie’s vice president research and innovation. “It makes me incredibly proud to be able to herald these tremendous Dalhousie researchers among Canada’s top scholars. Their work advancing science, policy and human welfare is exemplary.”

Read more about Dalhousie’s newest Royal Society of Canada members.


Dr. John Archibald, Faculty of Medicine

Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology & Immunology

Molecular biologist Dr. John Archibald is a world leader in the study of how microorganisms interact and exchange genes in nature. Dal’s newest Arthur B. McDonald Chair of Research Excellence, Dr. Archibald’s more than 170 publications have been cited over 10,000 times, an extraordinary accomplishment for a scholar 20 years into his career. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, Director of the Institute for Comparative Genomics, and the author of two popular science books published by Oxford University Press.

Dr. Christine Chambers, Faculties of Science and Medicine

Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience and Pediatrics, Dalhousie University

Dr. Christine Chambers is Dalhousie’s Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Children's Pain and an internationally recognized leader in pain management for young people. She spearheaded Solutions for Kids in Pain, a national network dedicated to putting research into practice, and champions research supporting the well-being of children as Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health. Identified as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by Women's Executive Network, she is passionate about research impact and patient and public engagement in health research.

Dr. John Crowley, Faculty of Arts and Social Science

Department of History

For more than four decades, Dr. John Crowley has published highly original articles and books crossing the disciplines of history, art history, architecture, material culture, economic and political thought, and anthropology. His work is extremely influential, helping to guide scholarship focused on global economic and political relations and shedding light on the origins of assumptions regarding trade, the dominance of Euro-American political ideologies and beliefs about civility. Credited by peers for his ability to open new vistas for understanding the past, he provides transformative insights ranging from the economic forces that have guided the development of our world to the intimate details that govern an individual’s daily life.

Members of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Dr. Karen Foster, Faculty of Arts and Social Science

Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology

As Dalhousie’s Tier II Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Rural Futures for Atlantic Canada, sociologist Dr. Karen Foster links economic transitions with living conditions and quality of life in rural communities. Her research focuses on a wide range of topics from temporary foreign workers in rural Atlantic Canada, to rural business succession, to community engagement in resource extraction, and much more. She leads the Rural Futures Research Centre, which focuses on the sustainability of rural life in Atlantic Canada, with a particular emphasis on how government policy and everyday life intersect.

Dr. Aaron MacNeil, Faculty of Science

Department of Biology

Dr. Aaron MacNeil leads the Integrated Fisheries Lab at Dalhousie’s Ocean Frontier Institute and studies how to manage fishery ecosystems through human need and climate change. The work of the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Fisheries Ecology has been particularly important for low-income nations with limited capacity to set and enforce fisheries regulations. Involving wide-ranging collaboration with social scientists and local communities around the world, Dr. MacNeil’s research is being used to develop tailor-made management plans for small-scale fisheries. A key achievement has been his work to quantify nutrient content of the world’s marine and freshwater fishes, helping to demonstrate the capacity of many nations to address micronutrient deficiencies by retaining as little as 10 per cent of their exported catches.