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While the University of New Brunswick is recognised as one of the older Canadian universities, being founded in 1859, the Department of Biology is relatively young. In the early history of UNB, a variety of individuals were appointed as Professor of Natural Science. James Robb served from 1837 until 1861 and was followed by Loring Woart Bailey (1861-1907) and Philip Cox (1907-1930).

Biology, as a separate department, may have originated in 1930 when Charles William Argue was appointed Professor and Head. Conflicting stories, yet to be verified, hold that Professor Argue was initially appointed as Professor of Natural Science and that the Department was not formed until 1941, with Dr.Argue as head and Dr.W.S. Hoar as his assistant.

Although a bachelor of science degree had been added to the university's offerings in 1891, the Faculty of Science, as such, was apparently not formed until the university was reorganised in 1946, at which time C. W. Argue was appointed as the first Dean of the faculty.

During the years following World War II, the Biology Department continued to occupy space on the top floor of the Old Arts Building. With the completion of Loring Bailey Hall in 1961, the Department moved into new quarters, sharing the buildingwith the Department of Physics.

As the department grew and became increasingly involved in research during the years after 1961, the lack of space became severe. The need for research space was partly met with the opening of the C.W.Argue Research Wing by Dr. Argue in 1972. While this aided the space problem, continuing growth, especially in undergraduate teaching, had already created additional problems. Space occupied by the department's Electron Microscope was lost with the creation of an autonomous Electron Microscopy Unit. At the same time, improved animal care procedures required a greater share of building space. Class sizes continued to grow.

In about 1976 Physics largely moved to the newly completed Integrated University Complex (IUC), providing space for Biology to expand and easing the pressure, albeit temporarily. In 1992-3, a substantial expansion of the Electron Microscopy Unit, to produce a much improved Unit, again acted to reduce the space available for growth.

...and Present

The Biology Department has an academic staff of approximately twenty-five whose research and teaching interests represent a substantial portion of the diverse disciplines included in modern biology. These interests range from the molecular level through a broad range of interests in organismic biology to ecology and evolutionary biology. Approaches are similarly diverse with a strong emphasis on the development of an understanding of functions and mechanisms. While there is a significant interest in what most call the " pure science" aspects of biology, there is also a strong emphasis in the study of biological principles as they relate to practical matters in fields as diverse as aquaculture, fisheries and wildlife forestry and agriculture.

The Biology Department at U.N.B. Fredericton is located in Loring Bailey Hall, located on Bailey Drive, overlooking downtown Fredericton and the St. John River. This location places the Department close to its sister Science Departments, which are located in F.J.Toole Hall (Chemistry), the Integrated University Complex (Physics & The Dean of Science), Tilley Hall (Mathematics) and The Forestry & Geology Building (Geology).

The Faculty of Forestry is now located in the New Forestry Building adjacent to the Forestry & Geology Building. A number of other significant locations such as the Alumni Memorial Center, Memorial Hall ( and The Art's Center) , the Science Library and the "Old Art's Builidng" ( the former "King's College" which now houses many of the university's administrative offices including the Registrar's Office) are in the immediate vicinity. The Faculty of Engineering, the University Bookstore, as well as several residences, are close by.

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Last Update: 03/06/97
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