Dept of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Centre for Environmental and Information Technology (EIT)
200 University Ave. W
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567
The University of Waterloo wished Distinguished Professor Emeritus Bill Taylor well at a reception and dinner held in his honour last Tuesday. He retires this year, stepping down from an academic career spanning almost 40 years. More than 35 colleagues, students, staff and alumni attended the event, hosted by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
After receiving his PhD from Toronto in 1974, he joined the Waterloo’s Department of Biology as a postdoctoral fellow in 1978 and was then later appointed as an assistant professor in 1981.
Since 2014 he has served as the Chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He also served as Department Chair for Biology twice in the past (1996-2001 and 2008).
Taylor is globally recognized as an expert within many areas of aquatic biology and the human effects on water quality. From the local Grand River System to the distant East African Lakes and Three Gorges Reservoir, the impact of his research has crossed continents.
Taylor is best known for the 2004 publication of the Near Shore Shunt Hypothesis, a commentary piece that proposed invasive mussels change the way phosphorus cycles in the Great Lakes, which promotes the excessive growth of littoral algae. The article became one of Taylor’s top cited publication, due in large part to the widespread impact of zebra mussels.
Zebra mussels re-engineered many lakes in region including Lake Erie, putting much more biomass in the nearshore than ever before. Their impact has been very educational,” says Taylor. “Research into phosphorus and its cycling within lakes is hotter than ever now.
In the classroom, Taylor has inspired hundreds of students and often taught courses outside of his discipline. Many of today’s top ecologists in Canada have worked in Taylor’s lab as students, postdoctoral fellows and visitors.
Taylor has received several career awards over the past couple of years for his outstanding service and achievements, including the 2013 Career Achievement Award from the Canadian Council of University Biology Chairs and the Society of Canadian Limnologists’ 2016 Frank Rigler Award. The University of Waterloo appointed him as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in 2015.
Although officially retired, he plans to retain ties as an Adjunct Professor with the Departments of Biology and Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Best wishes in your retirement, Professor Taylor!