CEW Outstanding Contribution Award
Honourees for 2018
Left to right: Karsten Liber, John Sprague, and Rick Scroggins
Dr. Karsten Liber
Dr. Karsten Liber is Director of the Toxicology Centre at the University of Saskatchewan where he has mentored 29 MSc students, 9 PhDs, 5 post-docs, and 8 undergraduate thesis students. His publication record includes 104-peer reviewed publications on a wide variety of topics that can best be categorized as applied toxicology and reclamation, and his research aims to work with industry partners to find solutions to real-world challenges, from oil sands to uranium mines to pesticides. He has always been a big supporter of CEW and, in addition to actively participating himself, he has also encouraged his students to do the same. Dr. Liber found time to co-chair two ATW meetings in Saskatoon, regularly serve on CEW organizing committees, chair the Advisory Committee to the CEW Board of Directors since 2017, and serve two terms on the Board. Dr. Liber’s true legacy is one of relationship and capacity building– a great dynasty of toxicology as it were. According to his nominator, “the Canadian ecotoxicology landscape has been transformed as a result of the Toxicology Program [that] Dr. Liber has built at U of S.”
Dr. John Sprague
Over his career, Dr. Sprague has worn many hats in the world of ecotoxicology, from Scientist-in-Charge at the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, to Associate Professor at the University of Guelph, and finally President of his own consulting company. He supervised 15 M.Sc. students, 7 Ph.D. students, and 1 post-doc, plus served on committees of 48 other students at Guelph, Waterloo, McGill, University of New Brunswick and in Australia. He has sat on over 50 advisory panels, editorial boards and committees across Canada and internationally. He was also actively involved in SETAC and community organizations on Salt Springs Island for many years. He has a considerable publication record, with 65 peer reviewed papers, chapters, and a book; 115 technical reports and book reviews, and numerous unpublished consulting reports and presentations at conferences. Really, one could truthfully say that Dr. Sprague wrote the book on ecotox…. because he did! He was one of the co-authors of the Environment Canada Biological Test Methods for acute lethality in rainbow trout and Daphnia species, among other key Environment Canada guidance documents. To quote the nomination letter, “John’s fundamental contribution to environmental protection and conservation of water quality in Canada has been to determine the governing factors of reliable and reproducible toxicity testing and create standards for the conduct of those tests”.
Mr. Scroggins began his career at BEAK Consultants in the fish toxicity lab. In 1984, after several years of managing the lab and building one of the early mobile toxicity labs in a trailer for on-site effluent testing, he moved on to Environment Canada. Over his many years with Environment Canada, he has been committed to developing scientifically-defensible toxicity test protocols that meet the needs of government and industry. To quote his nominator, “Rick’s vision was not just the regulation of discharges and measurement of environmental biological quality, but the development of a standardized program to evaluate the integration of those discharges within the environment.” Mr. Scroggins has also been a dedicated supporter of CEW, attending most workshops, chairing sessions and serving as the Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors from 2013 to 2017. The 152 career presentations that he has delivered at meetings and workshops around the world have played a significant role in elevating Canadian ecotoxicology on the world stage, as have his participation in SETAC, ISO and a number of other professional organizations. The Canadian regulatory and toxicity testing landscape owe no small debt to Rick’s dedication, collaborative approach, and perseverance.