Rudy Boonstra teaches students in a forest

Rudy Boonstra (photo by Ken Jones)

Rudy Boonstra receives Fry Medal from Canadian Society of Zoologists

Rudy Boonstra, professor emeritus in the department of biological sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough, has been awarded the 2024 Fry Medal by the Canadian Society of Zoologists.

The annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to knowledge and understanding of an area in zoology. It was established in 1974 in honour of aquatic ecologist and former U of T professor Frederick E.J. Fry.

Boonstra’s research examines factors that affect animal populations and how animals cope with stressors such as social interactions, predation, lack of food and a changing climate – and has included a special focus on the effects of maternal stress on offspring. His work has spanned the Canadian boreal forest, prairies, mountains and the Yukon and Arctic regions.

“Being awarded the Fry Medal is a great honour,” says Boonstra, who recently retired after 40 years at U of T Scarborough but remains active in his research.

Long-time colleague Stephen Reid, an associate professor in the department of biological sciences, hailed Boonstra for his relentless advocacy for climate change mitigation and prevention strategies. “Rudy was sounding the alarm at a time when many of us were really just coming to understand that climate change was real and that its effects would be planet-altering and devastating to humans and other animals,” says Reid.

Read the U of T Scarborough story