Macdonald Distinguished Alumni Award: GERALD A. MULLIGAN, BScAgr‘52
Gerald A. (Gerry) Mulligan, a 1952 graduate of Macdonald College, has had a career of more than 60 years in the Canada Department of Agriculture in Ottawa as a Scientist, Research Director, and latterly as an Honorary Research Associate. For many years he monitored the research programs of scientists and managed the Canadian National Collections of insects, arachnids, nematodes, fungi, and vascular plants. He was the sole Canadian invited to present a paper at The Genetics of Colonizing Species, the first symposium organized by The International Union of Biological Sciences. This symposium is now credited with initiating the study of the genetics and evolution of invasive species.
He has published many research papers, books, and has five websites on line. His counter on one website, Common Weeds of the United States and Canada (weedscanada.ca) recorded 682,717 visits up to September 18, 2014. He has determined and published the chromosome numbers for species of most plant families found in Canada and the United States, and has named many new plant species from Alaska to California and from British Columbia to Quebec. He co-founded the Biology of Canadian Weeds series and edited the series for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science for many years.
He has been active in national and international associations and was a founding member of several, including the Canadian Botanical Association, the Genetics Society of Canada, the International Organization of Plant Bioystematics, and the Association of Systematic Collections. He served as President of the Canadian Botanical Society and was awarded its George Lawson Medal in 2006.