Dr. Archibald Gowanlock Huntsman – Our Namesake
The Huntsman Marine Science Centre is named in honour of Dr. Archibald Gowanlock Huntsman (born at Tintern, ON 1883; died at St Andrews, NB 1973). Dr. Huntsman was a preeminent and pioneering oceanographer and marine scientist. He co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and books on a wide range of marine biology topics and collaborated extensively with colleagues across Canada and internationally. These accomplishments are even more remarkable given that Dr. Huntsman received his formal education with a focus on medicine from the University of Toronto (Bachelor of Arts 1905 and Bachelor of Medicine 1907), although he never practiced medicine. His life’s work in the marine sciences was later recognized with Doctorate degrees honoris causa from Memorial University of Newfoundland (1967) and University of Toronto (1969).
In 1911, Dr. Huntsman took on the role as Curator of the fledgling St. Andrews Station on behalf of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. He was later appointed to be Director in St. Andrews, and held this position until 1934, while concurrently serving as the Director of the newly established Fisheries Experimental Station in Halifax, NS from 1924 to 1928. Dr. Huntsman continued his association with the Fisheries Research Board after his directorship by serving as the editor of its publications from 1934 to 1949 and as a Consulting Director until retiring in 1953.
Dr. Huntsman was honoured often by scientific societies in Canada, United States of America and United Kingdom. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1916, serve as its President in 1938, and received its Flavelle Medal in 1952 “for an outstanding contribution to biological science during the preceding ten years or for significant additions to a previous outstanding contribution to biological science.” His legacy was further solidified in 1980 when the A.G. Huntsman Award for Excellence in the Marine Sciences was established. The award is now recognized as a major international prize, presented by the Royal Society of Canada, to honour marine scientists of any nationality who have had and continue to have a significant influence on the course of marine scientific thought. Dr. Huntsman was also commemorated on 17 March 2000 when Canada Post issued a stamp in his honour – The Fisherman’s Friend – as part of The Millennium Collection.
It is very fitting that our institution was named in his honour. In August 1970, Dr. Huntsman was present to cut the ceremonial ribbon during the First Annual Meeting of the Huntsman Marine Laboratory. Dr. W. Bev Scott (another Huntsman Marine Science Centre luminary) wrote that Huntsman’s “…works were truly pioneering and far in advance of contemporary thinking. His writings and discourses characteristically challenged accepted or established thought. Indeed, this attitude of critical appraisal is not only characteristic but also one of his most valuable contributions to science.”
We welcome you to explore our website to learn who we are, what we stand for, and see our mission in action to ensure a sustainable future for our coastal communities and ocean resources. A detailed timeline of Huntsman education and research milestones may be accessed from within those specific pages.
If you, too, are inspired to support the Huntsman mission then please donate or choose other ways to support the Huntsman mission today!