Dr. Scott Forbes honoured with mentorship award
University of Winnipeg biologist, Dr. Scott Forbes, was honoured with the Jamie Smith Mentorship Award at the 2019 Society of Canadian Ornithologists meeting, which took place in August in Québec City.
This award honours established ornithologists (a person who studies birds) from academia, industry, and non-government or government agencies who have been nominated by students, colleagues, and/or peers in recognition of excellence in mentoring a new generation of professional or amateur biologists.
Forbes was nominated for the award by UWinnipeg alumna Leanne Grieves. Dr. Barb Glassey, his first graduate student, was also present to share in the celebration.
Grieves says she nominated Forbes for the award not only because of the mentorship and leadership opportunities he provided her with, but also because she saw firsthand the impact his mentorship had on others.
“Scott regularly hired students, like me, who may have otherwise found it difficult to acquire research opportunities – new students with limited experience, low-income students in need of paid positions, and students with unique learning requirements,” Grieves said. “His support put many of us on the path to future graduate studies or jobs in industry, and helped us complete our degree programs successfully.”
As a budding birder with insatiable curiosity, she says that Forbes was always available to answer her bird ID questions.
“Scott was an excellent mentor,” said Grieves. “From him I learned to appreciate the Wilson’s snipe, sora, yellow-headed blackbird, bobolink, marsh wren, northern harrier, and countless others. As a biologist, Scott taught me not only about species ID, but generously shared his wealth of knowledge on the life history and ecology of these birds that makes each species so truly unique.”
After graduating from UWinnipeg with a Bachelor of Science, Grieves went on to complete her MSc in biology at McMaster University and is currently a PhD candidate and Vanier Scholar at Western University. She says that Forbes’ influence and support helped shape her into the biologist and ornithologist she is today.
Forbes joined UWinnipeg’s Department of Biology in 1992, focusing his research on fisheries, wildlife, ecology, and behaviour. He has conducted studies on the behavioural ecology of marsh-nesting blackbirds, with an interest in the resolution of conflict and cooperation among family members.
Jennifer Cox, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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