2023 Fredericton Encaenia
Dr. Richard Cunjak
Professor Emeritus in Biology and Forestry and Environmental Management
Dr. Richard Cunjak attained a BSc in Marine Biology (’77) from the University of Guelph, a MSc in Biology (’82) from Memorial University and a PhD (’86) from the University of Waterloo.
Dr. Cunjak joined UNB in 1997 as the Meighen-Molson Research Chair in Atlantic Salmon Research. A few years later, he became the Canada Research Chair (Tier I ) in River Ecosystem Science; holding this position for over 14 years. Early in his tenure, he played leadership roles in establishing the internationally recognized Canada Rivers Institute (founding Director) and the Stable Isotopes in Nature Laboratory (founder and Director, 1999 - 2018). At UNB, he held a joint appointment in the Department of Biology and the Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management.
Throughout his time at UNB, Dr. Cunjak received over $7 million in research funding from various sources, including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada Research Chairs program, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Canadian International Development Association, Parks Canada and the Department of Fisheries & Oceans. Actively engaged in service to UNB, he held appointments on university-wide, faculty and departmental committees, and as a member of the UNB Fredericton Senate from 2012 - 2017.
For 27 years, Dr. Cunjak was the Director of the Catamaran Brook Field Station in Miramichi, NB, where he and other scientists and students conducted fieldwork. He is considered a world authority on the winter ecology of Atlantic salmon and on the assessment and mitigation of anthropogenic impacts on freshwater ecosystems. To date, he has published over 165 scientific papers and has co-supervised 30 graduate students and nine postdoctoral fellows. His research has contributed immensely to understanding salmon population dynamics and to developing policies to protect this iconic species in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere in North America and Europe.
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