Spencer C.H. Barrett
University Professor
Emeritus

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Toronto
25 Willcocks Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 3B2
Phone: (416) 978-4151
Email: spencer.barrett@utoronto.ca


Degrees

B. Sc. (Honours)

Department of Agricultural Botany, University of Reading, England 1967-71

Ph. D.

Department of Botany, University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. 1972-77

Positions

University Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, 2018
University Professor, 2008-2018
Canada Research Chair - Evolutionary Genetics Tier 1 2001-08, 2008-14
Professor, University of Toronto. Tenure granted 1982, Full Professor 1986

National & International Experience

  • Chair, Academic Committee of Yunnan University, China, Key Laboratory of ‘Plant Reproductive Adaptation and Evolutionary Ecology’, Kunming, China, 2019

  • Sectional Committee 9 “Organismal Biology, Evolution and Ecology” Royal Society of London, selection of FRS nominations 2018-2021

  • 4th Andina International Workshop “Species Range Extensions and Local Adaptation: Challenging Ecological and Evolutionary Ideas and Assumptions”. San Carlos Bariloche, Argentina, 2018

  • Member International Review Committee, Department of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, ETH, Zurich, 2018

  • Chair of Scientific Committee of “The 7th International Workshop on Plant Reproductive Biology” organized by Qing-Jun Li (Yunnan University), Kunming, China, 2018

  • Member, Search Committee for Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Plant Sciences, 2018

  • Member, Scientific Program Committee, XIX International Botanical Congress, Shenzhen, China, 2017-2018.

  • Scientific Program Committee Member and Instructor “Plant Evolution Symposium & Field Workshop on Ecology and Evolution of Plant Reproduction.” Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, Brazil, 2017

  • Faculty at “Guarda – Evolutionary Biology Workshop”, Switzerland. Organized by Dieter Ebert (Basel) and Sebastian Bonhoffer (ETH), 2016

  • Instructor, “Camp Evolution – Plant Evolutionary Biology after Darwin” Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Nine lectures to graduates students and PDFs. Organized by Ariel Novoplansky, 2016

  • Instructor, Bright Horizons Cruise 27 sponsored by Scientific American. Australia and New Zealand. Four lectures, 2015

  • Science without Borders Program of Brazil. Special Visiting Researcher (PVE) on project “Population Genetic Structure, Demographic History and Phylogeography of Eichhornia in the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil.” Three-year grant with Erich Fischer & Nicolay Cunha, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, Brazil, 2015-7

  • Instructor, Field Course in “Plant Reproductive Ecology”, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, Brazil. Four lectures and project supervision, 2015-7

  • Co-chair of Scientific Committee for “Evolutionary Ecology and Plant Reproductive Biology 5th National Conference & International Workshop”, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China, 2014

  • Member International Review Committee, Institute of Systematic Botany & Botanical Garden, University of Zurich, 2014

  • Chair, Merit Award committee, Botanical Society of America, 2013

  • Sectional Committee 9 “Organismal Biology, Evolution and Ecology” Royal Society of London, selection of FRS nominations 2011-2014

  • International Assessor, Chair in Plant Conservation Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden, 2012

  • Instructor, “Evolutionary Biology Workshop in the Alps”, Villa Cassel, Switzerland, Organized by Tadeusz Kawecki (Univ of Lausanne), 2013

  • Committee member, Sewall Wright Award, American Society of Naturalists, 2012

  • Committee member, Dobzhansky Award, Society for the Study of Evolution, 2010-2

  • President, Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, 2010-2012

  • Vice President (North America), Society for the Study of Evolution, 2010-2012

  • Visiting Professor, University of Chile, Santiago, 2010

  • Visiting Professor, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2009

  • Vice President, Canadian Society for Ecology & Evolution, 2008-9

  • Adjunct Professor, Washington State University, Pullman, 2006-7

  • Council Member, European Society for Evolutionary Biology, 2005

  • Adjunct Professor, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun China, 2004-6

  • International Panel Member, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Priority Programme "Radiations - Origins of Biological Diversity", Germany 2002-7

  • Member, "Expert Panel on the Future of Food Biotechnology." Royal Society of Canada, 2000-1

  • Member, "Committee on the Scientific Basis for Predicting the Invasive Potential of Non-indigenous Plants & Plant Pests in the USA." National Academy of Sciences & National Research Council, USA. 1999-2001

  • Member, External Review Committee, Department of Biology, University of Victoria, 1999

  • Programme Committee, XVI International Botanical Congress, St. Louis, USA, 1999

  • External Assessor, 1999 Crafoord Prize in Biosciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

  • Visiting Mellon Scholar, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, California, USA, 1997

  • Member, International Committee of Experts review of "Swedish Research in Biology" for the Swedish Natural Science Research Council, 1994-1995

  • Visiting Professor, Department of Botany, University of Hong Kong, 1994

  • Research Associate, Royal Ontario Museum, Department of Botany 1992 - present

  • Member, Faculty of Science Review Committee for the Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, 1989

  • Chair & Panel Member, Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada, Grant Selection Committee in Population Biology, 1984-88

  • Visiting Research Scientist, Genetic Resources Programme, Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia, 1983-84

  • Aquatic Weed Consultant, International Research Institute, Jari, Lower Amazon, Brazil, 1974

  • Weed Biologist, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Swaziland Irrigation Scheme, 1969-70

Honours & Awards

  • Flavelle Medal, Royal Society of Canada, Canada, 2015

  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (for science outreach), 2012

  • Extraordinary Professor, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2010

  • Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2009

  • William Evans Visiting Fellow, Department of Botany, University of Otago, New Zealand, 2009

  • University Professor, University of Toronto, 2008

  • Canada Research Chair, Evolutionary Genetics Tier 1 (renewal), 2008

  • Sewall Wright Award, American Society of Naturalists , 2008

  • Premier’s Discovery Award for Life Sciences & Medicine, Ontario Government, 2007

  • Lawson Medal, Canadian Botanical Association, 2006

  • Centennial Award, Botanical Society of America, 2006

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of London, 2004

  • Merit Award Botanical Society of America, 2003

  • Canada Research Chair, 2001

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 1998

  • Natural Sciences & Enginering Research Council of Canada, E.W. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, 1988-90

  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, University Toronto, 1992-93.

Editorial & Advisory Boards

Present: Editor-in-Chief, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Journal of Systematics and Evolution, Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Past: New Phytologist, Evolution, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B., International Journal of Plant Sciences, Evolutionary Applications, Molecular Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Plant Species Biology, American Journal of Botany, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B (Editor)

Research Interests

General: plant evolutionary biology, ecological & evolutionary genetics, evolutionary ecology, comparative biology & phylogeny reconstruction, plant reproductive systems, conservation biology, plants & human affairs

Specific: evolution & ecology of plant mating systems, pollination biology, floral evolution, gender strategies, sexual dimorphism and sex ratios, evolution of plant sex chromosomes, evolution of selfing & outcrossing, biology of invading plants, colonization genetics, genetics & ecology of small populations, metapopulation biology, evolution on islands, systematics & evolution of aquatic plants