Dymond, J.R.

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1887 - 1965

Director of the Royal Ontario Museum of Zoology (1934-1948)
Head of the Department of Zoology (1948-1956)

Prior to his designation as the Head of the Department of Zoology, John Richardson Dymond was an active teacher and a prominent figure in the development of the Ontario Fisheries Research Laboratory. His investigations focused primarily in the realm of fish taxonomy. In 1934 Dymond worked as director and administrator at the Royal Ontario Museum of Zoology, guiding the institution rough a difficult period, developing both the collections and public displays at the museum. Because of the work done by Dymond for the museum collections, the institution was capable of becoming a strong foundation for further investigations. In 1948, when he became head of the Department of Zoology, Dymond resigned from his position as Director at the Royal Ontario Museum. He was also a vigorous leader in the movement toward the conversation of renewable natural resources. His work in the area of distribution and conservation of the natural environment played a significant role in the development of the field of ecology.

Professor Dymond was known to be incredibly social within the Department, and had a "marked facility for dealing with people at all levels". He regularly entertained both staff and students, held regular luncheons at Hart House, and often made a point of introducing small groups to one another at various social gatherings. During his time as Department Head, he held annual Christmas parties where everyone connected to the department was invited, from the President of the University to the custodians. He was well known and liked because of his interest in individual students and his readiness to help others. He established occasional meetings amongst his staff to discuss department policies, a practice that had not existed prior to his time as Head.

As the department expanded and attempted to accommodate the growing disceplines of study, Professor Dymond saw the need for a new building, and he had taken it upon himself to inform the authorities of this, so that the plans for a new Zoology building were underway before the end of his tenure in 1956.

JS Founding member, Canadian Society for the Protection of Science and Learning


Craigie, H.E. A History of the Department of Zoology of the University of Toronto. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962.

Killam, Gerald and George Warecki, ‘J.R. Dymond and Frank A. MacDougall: Science and government policy in Algonquin Provincial Park, 1931-1954, Scientia Canadensis, 22-23 (1998-1999) 131-153