Copyright © 1998-2020  Dawn E. Monroe. All rights reserved 

 ISBN: 0-9736246-0-4

Roberta Lynn Bondar Born December 5, 1945 Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Roberta's 1st university degree was earned at the University of Guelph in 1968. Her post graduate studies began at the University of Western Ontario with a Master of Science in 1971 followed by a PhD from the university of Toronto in 1974.She earned her medical degree from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario  in 1977.  As  Canada’s 1st woman astronaut had flair. She took her favourite food, Girl Guide cookies, into space with her.  She brought from space a real sense of just how delicate our small blue planet really is and is now using her photography to help show and save our earth’s environment. She was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1992 and the Order of Ontario in 1993. She is a Specially elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1999. She has been awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. In 2003 she began a tenure of service as Chancellor of Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario the same year that Canada Post brought out stamps honouring our individual Canadian astronauts. She also has a Star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. She has served on numerous boards of directors of organizations and served as well government committees. A respected and busy motivational speaker in 2017 for the 150th anniversary she toured the country to encourage youth to take the Bondar Challenge in photography. She encourages youth to study science and follow their dreams.  Check out how many schools she went to in the Canadian Who’s Who at your library.
Julie Payette Born October 20, 1963 Montreal, Quebec.  Did you know that this Canadian astronaut plays piano and has sung with the Montreal symphonic Orchestra Chamber Choir? In 1982 she earned an International Baccalaureate diploma at the United World College of the Atlantic in South Wales, United Kingdom. She earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1986 from McGill University, Montreal and by 1990 she had completed her Master of Applied Science degree in computer engineering at the University of Toronto. She speaks 4 languages besides English and French.   This young engineer was chosen as an astronaut in 1992 and went into space serving on the space Shuttle from May 27 to June 6, 1999. In 2000 she was inducted into the National Order of Quebec and the following year as a Knight of Ordre de la Pléiade de L'Association des parlementaires de langue Française.  In 2009 she served on the space station. June 25, 2010 she received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Julie married a second time to William Flynn and is the mother of one son. For a year in 2010 she worked at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington D.C., U.S.A. In 2012 she received the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2013 she became chief operation officer for the Montreal Science Centre. She has served on numerous boards including at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Drug Free Kids Canada, The Montreal Bach Festival and the National Bank of Canada.  In October 2, 2017 she was sworn in as  29th Governor General of Canada. She has been invested as  Extraordinary Commander of the Order of Military Merit, the Order of Canada and holds Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces of her Majesty. In 2016 she was named a Commander of the Order of Montreal.  She enjoys triathlon, skiing, racquet sports and scuba diving. The City of Whitby, Ontario has named a public School in her honour. (2019)
Micheline Bouchard

Born  April 22, 1947. Micheline earned a degree in engineering physics in 1969 and went on to earn her Master's in electrical engineering at  L’École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1978.In 1974 Micheline married fellow engineer Jean-Paul Sardin and the couple had two children. In 1978, Micheline Bouchard was the second woman to be elected to lead the Order of Engineers in Québec. She worked at Hydro-Québec for some 18 years moving her way up the admistrative ladder to assistant to the president. In 1981 she was Woman of the Year in business. From 1983 to 1987 she was v-p of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce followed with serving on the Montreal Board of Trade. She was also a founding director of the Public Policy Forum. She became Vice-president of CGI Group, the DMR Group and Hewlett-Packard Canada Ltd. in 1992, the second to be elected president of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (now Engineers Canada) In 1994 the YWCA named her the Woman of the Year.  In 1995 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. In 1998 became President and Chief Operating Executive of Motorola Canada Ltd and then Vice-President. In 2000 she received a Wired Woman of the Year Award from the Wired Women's Society. She served from 2002 to 2006 as President and CEO of ART Advanced Research Technologies Ltd.  She has served on the boards of Telus Corporation, Dominion Diamond Corporation, the Ford Motor Company of Canada, Sears Canada, Corby Distilleries, the Banque Nationale de Paris (Canada), London Life, Gaz Metropolitan, Alliance Forest Products, Monsanto Canada, and the Canada Post Corporation. She sits on the board of PSP (Public Sector Pension Investments) and is the Chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee. She also served on the Conference Board of Canada and on the International Women's Forum global board. She is a director of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. She was not only the 1st woman president of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, but was the first to be elected president of any of the twenty-odd academies represented in the international Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences. In 2009 she was named a Fellow of Engineers Canada and in 2011 she became a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. In 2015 she was awarded the Gold Medal from Engineers Canada and the Grand Prix d’Excellence of the Order of Engineers of Québec as well as being named to the list of Top 100 Most Powerful Women. (2020)
Yvonne Madeline Brill

née Claeys. Born December 30, 1924, St Vita, (Winnipeg) Manitoba. Died March 27, 2013, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A. There were no facilities for women at a mandatory camp for engineering students at the University of Manitoba so Yvonne studied chemistry and mathematics and was 1st in her class. She went on to post graduated studies and earned her Masters from the University of Southern California. She began her engineering career at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, California, U.S.A. where she was one of the only women working and the 1st American plans and projects for satellites. In 1951 she married William Franklin Brill. The couple had three children. Her career carried her across the country where in 1981 through 1983 she worked at the National Aero Space Administration (NASA). She invented a propulsion system to help keep communication satellites in their orbits which is still in use today in 2015. It was in the 1980’s that Harper’s Bazaar magazine and DeBier Corporation presented her a Diamond Superwoman Award for combining family life and successful career. In 2001 she was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal which was followed in 2002 with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Wyld Award. She also earned the American Association of Engineering Societies John Fritz Medal which is the highest award in the engineering profession. In 2010 she was inducted  into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and in 2011 President Obama presented her the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Superwoman indeed! Source: Douglas Martin, Yvonne Brill,  pioneering Rocket Scientists dies at 88, in the New York Times March 30, 3013: Memorable Manitobans Online. (Accessed June 2015)
Dorothy May Boyce Born Montreal. Dorothy had originally wanted to study engineering at McGill University in 1936. However women were not allowed to register in engineering at the time so Dorothy settled for a Bachelor of Science Degree graduating in 1940. She joined the Canadian Womens Army Corp to serve in World War ll and served as a Sargeant in the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Discharged in October 1945 she learned that women could now enroll in the Faculty of Engineering at McGill. She was the one woman out of 800 men who took advantage of education programs for former veterans to attend Dawson College, McGill University. She hoped to do research in radio manufacturing. Source: newspaper clippings form McGill University Archives (2019)
Dormer M. Ellis

Born November 22, 1925. She must have been an independent child. As a teen she was the only youth working as a “Sales girl” at her Woolworth’s 5 and 10 cent store. She could do math and calculate the correct change for customers when there were no cash registers! She told her High School Teacher she wanted to learn engineering but the teacher told her to attend university orientation with all the other girls. She studied engineering anyhow earning a PhD!  In 1950 she was a professor of electrical engineering at Ryerson Institute of Technology in Toronto, the 1st (and only women) of her time to hold such a position. She shocked her family when she married in 1952 by retaining her maiden name. She interested women in the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Toronto when she told them that she had worked all during her pregnancy because her students wanted to learn from her. She marked student exam papers in the maternity word after giving birth to her daughter. In 1982 she was the President of the BPW of Toronto herself. In 1983 she was honoured with the Woman of Distinction Award of the Metropolitan Toronto YWCA. In 1984 she became the 1st woman to receive the Ontario Professional Engineers Citizenship Award. And in 1988 she received the Elsie Gregory McGill award from BPW of Canada. In 1991 she was the 1st woman to be awarded the University of Toronto Engineering alumni gold medal. In 1992 she became Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto. In 2002 she was the only Canadian among pioneers honoured by the International Congress of Women Engineers and Scientists. Source The Toronto Business and Processional Women’s Club. Online Accessed February 2013.

Elizabeth Muriel 'Elsie' Gregory MacGill Born 1905 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died November 4, 1980. She became Canada’s first woman graduate to hold a degree in electrical engineering. She also held a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. During WW II her primary responsibility was the production of the Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft. Her staff of 4,500 people produced more than 2000 aircraft. In 1937 she was the first woman to be admitted corporate membership in the Engineering Institute of Canada. She is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. She is considered the first woman to be a designer of airplanes.
Indira Vasanti Samarasekera

Born April 11, 1952 Colombo, Sri Lanka.  A graduate of the Ladies College of Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1968 she obtained the B.Sc, honouring in Mechanical Engineering in 1974. Married in 1975 she studied in the U.S.A and by 1976 she had earned her masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California. Moving to Canada she earned her PhD at the University of British Columbia. As she began to raise her two children she lectured at the University of British Columbia. Her research was recognized with the Killam Prize in 1986. She earned the Robert W. Hunt Silver Medal in both 1983 and 1993. She was elected President of the Metallurgical Society in 1995.  A Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Engineers in 1997, the same that year her work won her the John Chipman Medal. This was followed the Science Council Gold Medal in 1998. In 2002 she became an officer in the Order of Canada. Suggested sources: Canadian Who’s Who (Toronto: University of Toronto  Press) 2004

Claudia Joan Alexander Born May 30, 1959, Vancouver, British Columbia. Died July 11, 2015, Arcadia, California, U.S.A. Claudia was raised in California, where her father was a social worker and her mother worked as a librarian. Died July 11, 2015, Arcadia, California, U.S.A. As a youth she attended a high-school summer internship at NASA. After attending and graduation from the Berkley and went on to earn her Master’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles   She joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration after earning her doctorate in plasma physics from the University of Michigan. As a Black woman working in a largely man’s work field she was used to surviving in two different cultures. To her loving her work was important.  She was project manager of the 14 year 1.5 billion dollar U.S. Galileo mission which ended in 2003. In 2015 she was the project scientist for NASA on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Project which marked the 1st time a spacecraft rendezvoused with a comet. As may be expected she authored numerous research papers but it should be noted that she also wrote books for children including publications in the Windows to Adventure series helping children to have fun with science. Source: Sam Roberts Trailblazer let Nasa Mission to Jupiter. Globe and Mail July 21, 2015. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Margaret-Ann Armour Born 1930 September 6, 1939 Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. Died May 25, 2019 Edmonton, Alberta. Margaret-Ann earned her Bachelor and Masters Degrees from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She worked for five years as a research chemist in the papermaking industry prior to attending the University of Alberta where she earned her Image result for margaret Ann Armour imagesDoctorate in 1970. In 1979 she was hired as an assistant Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta. She was one of only a few women instructors at the Faculty of Science at the university. In 1982 she worked on a committee to increase the number of women in Sciences. She became the co-founder of Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology.  and spent decades as an ambassador for women in the sciences. She helped launched STEM which encourages women in roles in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She endeared herself to hundreds of students during her career. She was inducted into the order of Canada in 2006. She was a #M teaching Fellow, earned the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the People's Case, and the Chemical Institute of Canada Medal. In 2007 she was named Champion of Public Education by the Learning Partnership and earned the Alberta Science and Technical Leadership Awards Foundation Award. In September 2016 the 600 student Dr. Margaret Ann Armour School opened in Edmonton, Alberta. In 2017 she was an ambassador for Canada 150.
Edith Berkeley née Dunington. Born February 25, 1875 South Africa. Died February 25, 1963. She had been a world traveler by the time she was 14 when she traveled on her own from Tasmania to England. Edith attended the University of London, England for courses in pre-medical studies. She met her husband, Cyril Berkeley,  while studying the pure sciences of chemistry and zoology in England and the couple married in 1902. The couple had one daughter. She left her position at Columbia University, New York, U.S.A. to volunteer for the Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, British Columbia in 1918 where she worked as a volunteer until 1963.  Her gave up his job in 1930 to join his wife as a volunteer. The family would eventually settle in British Columbia. Under her lead they became world authorities on the classification of marine worms. Enthusiastic gardeners they also developed a new species flowers in the family of the Iris.
Linda Marie Fedigan Born 1949 Oklahoma, U.S.A. Linda studied at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, U.S.A. for her undergraduate bachelor degree, Master’s degree and her doctorate earned in 1974. Beginning in  1954 she worked on the Arshiyama West-east Primate Project which researched a trop of Japanese macaques monkeys. She followed this project through 1996. In 1983, with the cooperation of the Costa Rican government, Dr. Fedigan established the Santa Rosa Primate Field Project with the objective of describing the behavioral ecology, conservation parameters and life histories of three primate species inhabiting the park - white-faced capuchins , mantled howler monkeys and black-handed spider moneys .In 1998 a film was made based on Dr. Fedigan’s work. In 2002 while teaching and working at the University of Calgary in Alberta she was granted  a Canada Research Chair which was renewed in 2009.  June 30, 2016, Fedigan was named a Member of the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston for "her contributions to advancing our understanding of the behavior and society of several primate species and for her dedication as a mentor to the next generation of primatologists."[1] In 2016, she was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada .
Maria Gyongyossy-Issa She studied at the University of British Columbia and went on to earn her PhD in London England.  She moved to Saskatchewan to work on the biological warfare agent, T2 toxin. It was in Vancouver, British Columbia that she raised a family while working on platelets with CBS, then University of British Columbia Centre for Blood Research. In between, she taught biochemistry for CIDA in Indonesia, mounted courses for Douglas College  in Vancouver, British Columbia, created Science World’s “Opening the Doors” science networking program, and taught Summer Science to Northern kids. She is also a Black Belt instructor, teaching TaeKwonDo for UBC. She enjoys visiting school groups with the Scientists and Innovators in the Schools program. She has served as president of the Society for Canadian Women IN Science and Technology. SCWIST. (2017)
Helen Sawyer Hogg-Priestley

née Sawyer. Born August 1, 1905  Lowel, Massachusetts, U.S.A.  Died January 28. 1993 Richmond Hill, Ontario. She earned an undergraduate degree in Astronomy in 1926 at Mount Holyoke and took a position at the Harvard Observatory earning her master degree in 1928. Since Harvard University did not grant PhD's to women at this time she attended Radcliff University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. to earn her doctorate degree in 1931.  In 1930 she married Dr. Frank Scott Hogg (d1951) and the couple had 3 children. In 1935 the family relocated to Toronto, Ontario where she worked at the beginning as a volunteer and then as a research assistant at the University of Toronto. A world expert who would receive numerous honours including being a Companion in the Order of Canada, she took her profession to radio and TV in a clear and understandable manner for all listeners. She wrote a book, The Stars Belong to Everyone and a weekly column in the Toronto Star newspaper from 1951-1981 called 'With the Stars'. She served as the 1st woman president of several astronomic organizations.  In 1976 she became a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. She worked outside of the U of T in 1940-41 when she was acting Chairman of the Astronomy Department at Mount Holyoke College and again from 1955-1956 when she spent an academic year as Program Director for Astronomy at the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC, U.S.A.  In 1983 she became the 1st Canadian to be awarded the Klumpke-Roberts Award and the 1st Canadian women to have a Minor Planet (N0. 2917) named Sawyer-Hogg in her honour. .In 1985 she married fellow Toronto Professor F.E.L. Priestley (d 1988). 

Harriet Brooks She graduated from McGill University in 1888 and began research with the renowned Dr. Ernest Rutherford as Canada’s first woman nuclear physicist. In 1901 she was the first woman to stud at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University in England. After she earned her Masters degree she worked for a short period of time in the Laboratory of Dr. Marie Curie. She returned to Canada to resume her work with Dr. Rutherford until 1907 when she married Frank Pitcher. Since protocol of the day was for women not to work once they were married, Harriet was forced to give up her work as a physicist. She turned her energies to raising her three children and remained active in the Federation of University women.
Donna Arlene Chow Born March 9, 1941. After her studies in science at university she entered the field of research. She also has an interest in recognizing women's work and has contributed to Women In Science. She has herself become a teacher at the Department of Immunology at the University of Manitoba and has been recognized at the YWCA Woman of Distinction in 1992.  She is also a recipient of the the Canada 125 medal.
Ada Mary Courtice née Brown.  Born 1860 Pickering, Canada West (now Ontario). Died 1923. She attended Whitby Ladies College and settled down with her husband. However after his untimely death she found the need to support herself. She opened a private school in Toronto. Turning her energies to the administration of education she became a member of the Toronto Board of Education. In 1914 she founded the Home and School Movement in Toronto and by 1916 she laid the foundation for the Ontario Foundation of Home ad School. She served President of the Toronto Council of Home and School Clubs which under her leadership grew from 6 to 24 members.
Severn Cullis-Suzuki



Born November 30, 1979. Vancouver, British Columbia. At nine she founded the environmental Children’s Organization  (ECO) to learn and teach other  children about the environment. At 12 she and some of her friends from ECO raised funds and attended the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro where she presented a speech. In 1993 she was on the United Nations Environment Program Global 500 Honour Role. And she published her first book: Tell the World, (Doubleday Press). She earned her B Sc from Yale University in the U.S. In 2000, as a millennium project she and some friends cycled across Canada. By 2002 she was an accomplished world environment speaker and completed a speaking tour of Japan. When she spoke before the United Nations, some delegates had tears in their eyes.  She also worked with the Discovery Channel to bring environments issues to children by hosting a regular program on the subject. She is the founder of Skyfish, a grassroots organization that works for sustainable living with the aim of solving problems that won’t be solved by diplomats and documents. In 2007 she do-compiled the book : Notes from Canada’s Young Activists; a generation stands up for change. (Greystone Press).
Sources: Stephanie Kim Gibson, Influential and Intriguing Canadians (Rubicon, 2003); Eric Volumes, ‘Susuki looks south to define our identity’. Guelph Mercury, November 3, 2008.

Allie Vibert Douglas née Vibert.  Born December 5, 1894, Montreal, Quebec. Died July 2, 1988. Orphaned in 1904 she and her brother were raised by relatives. At the outbreak of World War l she went to London , England, to work in the War Office as a statistician. In 1918 at the age of 23, she was awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of the British Empire for her work. After the war she began her university studies receiving her undergraduate degree from McGill in 1920 and her Masters in physics in 1921. By 1926 she was the first woman in Canada to earn her PhD in astrophysics. . In 1939 she became Dean of Women and a professor of Astronomy at Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario. She helped many women in the sciences and published both scholarly and popular articles. As an extraordinary speaker, Douglas was a popular invitee to speak at many organizations which took her to almost every country in the world. She was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in Britain and served as president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. She was named a "Woman of the Century" by the National Council of Jewish Women in 1967 and that same year, she was inducted into the Order of Canada during its inaugural year. In 1988 astronomers named a new planet, Vibert Douglas in her honour.
Isobel Moira Dunbar Born February 3, 1918 Edinburgh, Scotland. Died November 22, 1999 Ottawa, Ontario. An Oxford University graduate, she immigrated to Canada in 1947 and worked in the far north joining the Arctic Section of the Defence Research Board,  An ice research scientist, she was  the 1st women to be taken for cruises on Canadian Government icebreakers. She visited the USSR and Finland in 1964 to look into icebreaking practices. The author of many scientific studies, including Arctic Canada From the Air, she received the Massey Medal in 1972. She was a Member of the Order of Canada and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. (2017)
Constance "Connie" Jean Eaves

née Halperin. Born May 22, 1944,Ottawa, Ontario. Connie earned her BA and MSc in genetics from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and her PhD at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom in 1969. She began work at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto, but was soon recruited to the British Columbia Cancer Institute. She also teaches at the University of British Columbia Department of Medical Genetics. In 1980 she co-founded the Terry Fox Laboratory in British Columbia where she was Deputy director in 1986 until 200 when she became Director. Her work has been recognized internationally in hematopoietic-stem cell biology. She has published hundreds of articles, papers, conference proceedings and book chapters. Connie is an active member of numerous national, international scientific societies including being President of the International Society of Experimental Hematology. She is proud to be the mother of four children. Source: Herstory. The Canadian Woman’s Calendar 2000 (Silver anniversary edition) Coteau Book, 1999 page 50.

Ursula Martius Franklin
Born September 16, 1921 Munich, Germany. Died July 22, 2016 Toronto, Ontario. During the Nazi regime in Germany in World War ll Ursula was separated from her parents and sent to a forced labour camp and fortunately were reunited in Berlin after the war. In 1948 she earned her Ph.D. in experimental physics from the Technical University of Berlin. Offered a post doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto she moved to Canada becoming a senior scientist at the Ontario Research Station from 1952-1967. An expert in metallurgy and materials science she was the 1st woman to become a professor at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Toronto. She authored some 100 research papers and reports and is an acclaimed contributor to books on the structure and properties of metals and alloys. She contributor to the 1977 report : Canada as a Conserver Society which recommended steps to reduce wasteful consumption and environmental problems it causes. She was active in the Voice for Women (VOW) and called for the U.S. military withdrawal from Vietnam. She fought for the right to refuse military service on the grounds of conscience to be extended to the right to refuse to pay taxes for war preparations. The case was refused by The Supreme Court of Canada. In 1982 she was named as an officer of the Order of Canada and this was upgrade to Companion of the Order of Canada in 1992. In 1987 she was presented the Elsie Gregory McGill Memorial Award for her contributions to education, science and technology.  In 1989 she was the author of the Real World of Technology based on her 1989 Massey lectures for CBC Radio. In 1990 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario. After her retirement she was part of a group of women she fought for pay equality from the University of Toronto. The university made a pay equity settlement to some 60 retired women faculty. In 1991 she received the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case for advancing the equality of girls and women in Canada. In 1995 the Ursula Franklin Academy, a high school in Toronto was founded.  In 2006 the Ursula Franklin Reader included her articles and speeches on pacifism, feminism, technology and teaching. In 2012 Ursula was inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame. In April 2013, Franklin donated her extensive collection of writings devoted to Chinese culture and history to the Confucius Institute at Seneca College in Toronto. Sources: Ursula Franklin, Quakers in the world, Online (Accessed September 2009) ; Dr. Ursula M. Franklin, United Nations Association in Canada. Online (Accessed 2009)
Tamara Grand Interested in the evolution of species, she uses fish as a model system. She has studies and expounded her theories at Concordia University, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. She has produced several scientific papers and is involved in promoting science among young women through the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology. She has earned the Alice Wilson Award from the Royal Society of Canada for her research and efforts with youth.
Birute Galdikas Born May 10, 1946 Germany. Growing up in Toronto she headed west to begin her studies at the University of British Columbia and then off to the University of California in LA to study for her masters and PhD. She has earned the distinct title as the world's foremost authority on orangutans, the great apes that live in the rain-forests of Borneo. For 23 years she spent time in the jungle doing observations and attempting sightings of the extremely private orangutans who like to be left alone! She has received many awards for her research including the Petra Award in 1990, the Eddie Bauer Hero of the Earth Award in 1991, the Sierra Club Checo Mendes Award in 1992 and the United Nations Global 500 Award in 1993.
Shana O. Kelley

Researcher & innovator

Born 1971? In 1994 she earned her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University in New Jersey, U.S.A. By 1999 she had her PhD from the California Institute of Technology in the U.S.A. Her 1st year after graduation she taught at Boston College in Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 2007 she worked at the University of Toronto in Ontario and has earned the title of Distinguished Professor. She has authored over 125 scientific articles for professional publications. In 2000 she received the Research Innovation Award and the 3 years later she received the National Science Foundation Career Award. In 2008 she was listed by the Globe and Mail newspaper as one of the Top 40 under 40. In 2011 she was the University of Toronto Inventor of the Year. She is the founder of Xagenic that has developed a fast, cost effective way for molecular testing in the field instead of returning to the lab. In 2016 she was one of 12 women Chatelaine magazine chose as Canadians who rocked the world.

Geraldine Kenny-Wallace Born March 29, 1943 London, England. She studies and did research at Oxford and London, England. In 1970 she earned her PhD at the University of British Columbia. In 1974 she organized the 1st ultrafast laser laboratory at the University of Toronto. In 1979 she earned a Killam Senior Research Fellowship. In 1983 she earned a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 1984 the E.W.R. Steacie Fellowship. She has taught at Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France, Yale University, U.S.A. and Stratford University, U.S.A. , the University of Toronto and done research in Japan. She has served as the chair of the Science Counsel of Canada, and is a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada. From 1990 to 1995 she was appointed president of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. (2017)
Elizabeth Rebecca Laird

Born 1874 Owen Sound, Ontario. Died 1969. When attending the University of Toronto, being first in her class for three straight year was not enough to allow her to continue with graduate studies. Women were not accepted for graduate studies. She taught at the Ontario Ladies College in Whitby, Ontario before she was able to begin graduate studies at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. In 1898/99 she worked at Berlin University in Germany on a fellowship. Vacant positions were filled by women students. She earned her PhD at Bryn Mawr in 1901. Instructing at Mount Holyoke College she became a professor in 1904 and Head of the Department of Physics, a position she held for 36 years. Retiring in 1940 she returned to live in London Ontario where she asked the University of Western Ontario if she could help in any way. She would work on an intensive radar research program and was professor emeritus until she was 78 years old in 1953.  Mini profile suggest by LDL.

Mabel McIntosh Born January 11, 1922. A married woman with family, Mabel took an interest in the Quebec Society for the Protection of Birds. She even lectured at local schools and became interested in the scientific study of birds. After the breakdown of her marriage her passion became an obsession. She would grow and develop into a noted North American ornithologist. She has travelled to South America and Africa. She has contributed data to scientific studies and published articles on hawk migration.
Patricia Martens Born January 25, 1952 Calgary, Alberta. Died January 10, 2015. Patricia studied chemistry at the University of Manitoba where she met her future husband. In 1974 she married Gary Martens and the couple had 2 children. In 1978 she taught chemistry as a high school in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Once her children were grown she returned to University and in 1999 she earned her PhD in Health Services from the University of Manitoba. She became a researcher but she also had a gift relating to people and presented at some 400 conferences where she made even the driest subjects come to life for her audiences. As well as making live appearances she wrote some 300 articles/reports and became a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. From 20014 through 2014 she was Director of the Manitoba Center for Health Policy. In 2013 she was inducted into the Order of Canada and was presented with the R.D. Defries Award from the Canadian Public Health Association. Diagnosed with Mesothelioma, an aggressive form of Cancer usually caused by exposure to asbestos, she was aggressive in her support of the banning of asbestos. In 2014 she was the Justice Emmett Hall Laureate for contribution to health research. Source: Anne Silversides, ‘Researcher Turned Dry Data into Stories’ The Globe and Mail, February 13, 2015.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa Ontario.
Margaret Newton Born April 20, 1887 Montreal, Quebec . Died April 6, 1971. During her early days of university study Margaret took an interest in diseases that related to Canada stable agricultural product, wheat. She was one of the first women in Canada to earn a degree in agriculture and she was the first Canadian woman to earn a PHD in agricultural sciences. Her lifetime work in wheat rust was well respected. In 1922 she was invited to Russia to discuss her work. She was the second woman to become a “Fellow” in the Royal Society of Canada. In 1942 she became the first woman recipient of the Flavelle Medal for meritorious achievement in biological science. The list of winners of this award that is recorded online contains no other winners who are women! The University of Victoria named one of its residences “Margaret Newton” Hall. After more than 25 years exposure from her research she was forced to retire because of ill health.
Isabella Preston Born September 4, 1881 Lancaster, England.  Died January 31, 1965. She was the first professional hybridist in Canada. (She worked with plants developing new varieties) She joined the staff of the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa where during her career she originated nearly 200 hybrid plants! Her specialty was lilies and she wrote the first book on lily cultivation in Canada.
Eva L. J. Rosinger

née Hartl. Born July 21, 1941, Prague, Poland. She earned her Master’s in Chemical engineering from the Technical University in Prague in 1963 and by 1968 she had earned her PhD. Immigrating to Toronto she attended the University of Toronto working as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. In Toronto she married Herbert E. Rosinger on November 27 1969.  She would work in West Germany including served as Vice President of Radioactive Management with the OECD in Paris, France 1982-1985 before returning to Canada and settling in Ottawa. She is the author of over 40 scientific reports and papers on environmental issues, waste management, environmental assessment, polymer science and chemical management. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Nuclear Association and has been advisor to the Committee on Nuclear Safety and the Atomic Energy Control Board. In 1992-1994 she was the elected Council member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Manitoba. She has also served on the Board of Directors for Employment Projects for Women Incorporated. She enjoys skiing and has served the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors where she was a qualified cross-country coach, instructor and examiner. Source: The Canadian Who’s Who, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997)

Bonnie Schmidt Born 1965. In 1986 she earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario, London. By 1993 she had earned her PhD from Western. While studying for her advanced degree she had worked with children at local schools helping them learn science and in 1991 she founded ‘Let’s Talk Science” to encourage people to learn of science. She designed programs and gave talks at elementary schools across Canada and the program has had international acceptance. In 1997 she was named by the Financial Post newspaper as one of the “Top 40 Under 40”. She has served and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of various organizations such as the Ontario Genomics Institute, the Board of Governors of the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology. She is the founding co-chair of the Science and Technology Awareness Network (STAN). In 2006 she was a participant on an expert panel that developed the Ontario Early Learning Framework. She has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. She has also earned the Young Alumni Award from the University of Western Ontario and the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award. In 2015 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
Marsha I. Sheppard née Joynt. Born June 11, 1947, Smith Falls, Ontario. In 1971 she earned her BA from Carleton University , Ottawa followed by her MA and then her PhD at the University of Guelph in 1977. She married Stephen Sheppard November 8, 1975 and the couple have 2 children. From 1980 through to 1998 she was Senior Scientist and Head of the Ecological Research Station.  In 1994 she received the Award of Excellence from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Energy. In 1998 she took the position of President of Ecomatters Inc. She is an active member of the American Women in Soil Science and in 1996 she received the President’s Intellectual Property Award. Source: Canadian Who’s Who 2003 (University of Toronto Press, 2002)
Norah Urquhart


Pioneer in Entomology

Born June 23, 1918 Died Pickering, Ontario March 13, 2009. Norah married Dr. Fred Urquhart in 1945 and the couple moved to Highland Creek in Scarborough, Ontario where Son Doug was born. A zoologist with the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto, Fred had an avocation for the Monarch Butterfly. With very little support the couple began a tagging program from their home to learn where the Monarch butterfly’s of Ontario went each winter. Eventually joined volunteers, it was Norah who answered all enquiries and posted a newsletter to all involved. She attended to public relations including writing an article for a Mexican newspaper in 1972. The article was read by a future volunteer and by 1975 the first Mexican valley of the Monarch’s was located. The couple’s work is considered the entomological discovery of the 20th Century. These pioneers had their work recognized with investiture into the Order of Canada in 1998. Sources: The “couples home was butterfly ground zero” (accessed June 2009); Inside “Norah Urquhart, a pioneer in Monarch Butterfly research”. (accessed June 2009) ; Information was also supplied by Donald Davis, Toronto, Ontario; also personal knowledge.
Amanda C. J. Vincent

Marine Biologist
Born 1960. In 1981 she earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Ontario, London. She earned her PhD from the University of Cambridge, England. 1990-1991 she was a visiting fellow in Sweden and Germany. From 1991-1996 she was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, England. Returning to Canada she was a professor at McGill University until 2002. In 1996 she formed Project Seahorse which is an international organization to save seahorses. She was the 1st person to study the seahorse under water and the 1st to document trade of these delicate creatures. She is the author of numerous scientific reports and articles and in 1999 she co-authored a book on seahorses. She has spearheaded documentary films and five full length TV programmes. In 2002 she held Canada’s Research Chair in Marine Conservation at the Fisheries Center at the University of British Columbia, a position that was renewed in 2007. Among her many accolades she has been presented with the Whitney Award for Conservation in 1994, The Rolex Award for Enterprise in 1998, the Time Magazine Leader for the 21st Century in 2000 and the Chevron Conservation Award in 2005. In 2007 she was Woman of the Earth Award winner from the Yves Rocher Foundation. She has created a ‘park’ in the Philippines where seahorses can live. The film: The Secret Life of Seahorses is about this project.
Alice Evelyn Wilson Born August 26, 1881 Coburg, Ontario. Died April 15, 1964. During family canoeing and camping trips Alice became interested in fossils.  Image result for alice evelyn wilson imagesShe began studies at the University of Toronto but ill health caused her to withdraw from these studies.  She began to work in the Mineralogy Division of the University of Toronto Museum, thus beginning her career as a geologist. By 1909 she was able to complete her university studies and  obtained a permanent position as a museum technician at the Geological Survey of Canada in Ottawa as the 1st woman hired by the Geological Survey of Canada. As a paleontologist she described fossils in papers and books. By 1929 she had received a scholarship from the Canadian Federation of University Women and graduated with her doctorate in geology from the University of Chicago. Alice could not participate in field work that would have required her to live in remote regions camps with men. InsteadAlice lectured and traveled to bring geology to the public, especially children.  In 1930 she was one of the 1st two women elected as Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society  In 1935 she became a Member of the Order of the British Empire. In 1936 she was the 1st Canadian woman to be admitted to the Geological Society of American and in 1937 she was one of the 1st woman to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Alice did complete some fieldwork at local sites in Ottawa and environs. In 1946 her Geology of the St Lawrence Lowland, Ontario and Quebec was published as the 1st major geological work in the area. From 1948 for a decade she lectured in paleontology at Carleton College (Now Carleton University. In 1991 the Royal Society of Canada established the Alice Wilson Awards for emerging women scholars. In 2005 Alice Wilson was inducted into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame. (2019)
Sandra F. Witelson




Born Montreal, Quebec. Sandra earned her Bachelor of Science, Masters of Science and her PhD from McGill University in Montreal. She worked for 3 years in New York, U.S.A. before accepting a position with McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario in 1969. In 1973 she found that anatomical and functional asymmetry of the brain is present at birth. As a university neuroscientist has been perhaps best known her 1996-1999 research and her study of Albert Einstein’s brain which was donated to her Brain bank.  She has established one of the world’s top brain banks and is cited as a leading researcher in her field. Sandra is married and the couple have one child. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has been an active community volunteer. She was inducted into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction in 2007.

top of page