N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 17, 1984
Discipline / contribution: plant biology ; genetics of plant parasites
Citation / biographical information:
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Dr. Clay ton O. Person.Degree received: Doctor of Science
Clayton Person has an international reputation second to none in Canadian Science, for his research into the genetic aspects of host-parasite relations in the diseases of higher plants.
Dr. Person was born and raised at Aylesbury, Saskatchewan. After service overseas in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1941-1945, he returned to enroll at the University of Saskatchewan where he was awarded Honours in Biology in 1950 and the MA in 1951. He studied for the Ph.D. at the University of Alberta, then spent two post-doctoral years abroad - one at the University of Lund, Sweden and another at the John Innes Institute in England. Thereafter, he was employed for several years (1956-1961) as Research Officer with Agriculture Canada in its Dominion Rust Research Laboratory, Winnipeg. He was then appointed as the first Head of the Department of Genetics at the University of Alberta. In 1966 he joined the Department of Botany of the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Person has served the Canadian scientific community in various capacities, including participation in the establishment of the Genetics Society of Canada and later as its president; as Chairman of the NSERC Committee for Plant Biology, and as a member of the Canadian National Committee for the International Union of Biological Science.
His scholarly achievements have received wide recognition. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1970, and was designated Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society in 1981. He was awarded the British Columbia Science Secretariat Medal in 1981, the Flavelle Medal by the Royal Society of Canada and the Medal of the Genetics Society of Canada, both in 1982. He has been an Invited participant in numerous international symposia. In. 1971 he was a visiting professor at Punjab Agricultural university. In 1975 he served as consultant to the FAO (United Nations) on coffee diseases in Ethiopia. He was an invited scholar at the Rockefeller Study and Conference Centre in Italy in 1982.
Dr. Person is an. acknowledged authority on the genetics of plant parasites. His major research contribution has been to clarify the genetic basis of microevolutionary change in host-parasite systems. His work constitutes a major contribution to modern theory of host-parasite interaction in plant populations. It has found important applications in plant breeding throughout the world.
It will be of interest to alumni of the University of Saskatchewan that other previous students and faculty of its Department of Biology have been honoured for their scholarly work in the field of host-parasite relationships. These include W.P. Thompson, Margaret Newton and Michael Shaw. All have been awarded the Royal Society's Flavelle Medal for distinguished research. Dr. Person is a worthy member of this company.
Mr. Chancellor, I present to you Dr. Clayton O. Person and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of-Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Jim Naylor
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