Hynes, H.B.N. fonds

Hynes, H.B.N.
H.B.N. Hynes fonds. - 1938-1990.

ca. 1 m of textual records. - 27 maps. - 4 photographs.

View full finding aid of H.B.N. Hynes fonds (PDF)

Hugh Bernard Noel Hynes, BSc, PhD, DSc, ARCS, FRSC (1917-2009), was a biologist and professor at the University of Waterloo and credited with founding the field of lotic limnology, the study of flowing fresh water. Hynes was born in Devizes, England, and studied biology at Imperial College in London. After graduating in 1938, he enrolled at the University of London as an external student to study at the lab of the Freshwater Biological Association in the English Lake District. He graduated from the University of London in 1941 with a PhD in entomology; his thesis was on stoneflies (plecoptera).

During World War II, through a British government program for scientists, Hynes was sent to Trinidad for six months to study tropical agriculture. In 1942, he married Mary Hinks and was sent to East Africa to work in the locust control program of the British Colonial Office. His work involved attempting to eradicate locusts in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. After the war, he accepted a teaching post at the University of Liverpool. By the end of the 1950s, had established a solid reputation as an aquatic biologist; part of his work during this period related to river pollution. In 1964, he came to the University of Waterloo to establish the biology department. He was its first permanent chair and spent the rest of his career there, retiring in 1983. He also spent two sabbatical years studying stoneflies in Australia. In 1998, he was awarded the Naumann-Theinemann Medal from the Congress of International Limnological Society in Dublin, the highest honour available in the field of aquatic biology.

An internationally renowned biologist, Hynes published over 190 papers in the course of seven decades, and two of his books became classics in the field: The Biology of Polluted Waters (1960) and The Ecology of Running Waters (1970). He pioneered the field of modern stream ecology and was the first to show how food webs in streams depend on the surrounding landscape and how pollution changes them.
(Source: Hynes, Noel. Nunc Dimittis: a life in the river of time, Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers, 2001; Abbate, Gay. "Limnologist founded the biology department at the University of Waterloo" (obituary). Globe and Mail, 26 March 2009: S8.)


Fonds consists of material relating to the career of H.B.N. Hynes, from his work as a student at the Univeristy of London in the late 1930s through his time as a professor of biology at the University of Waterloo until his retirement in the 1980s. Includes material relating to his work on stonefiles in the British Isles, his work for the British government in Trinidad and East Africa, his time at the University of Liverpool including work on river pollution, and his career at the University of Waterloo, including his sabbaticals in Australia. Fonds includes notebooks containing field notes, ms. and ts. notes, publications authored by Hynes and by others, reports, correspondence, maps, and photographs.

Fonds is arranged in six series:

  1. Field Notes
  2. Research
  3. Maps for Research
  4. Publications by H.B.N. Hynes
  5. Publications by Others
  6. Miscellaneous


  • Title based on content of the fonds.
  • Donated in 2009.
  • Some material in French and Italian.

Call number: GA 205