Merritt Gibson Natural History & Environmental award

Each year the Blomidon Naturalists Society gives the Merritt Gibson Award to a full-time honours or graduate Acadia University student in the Departments of Biology or Earth and Environmental Science, or in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program. The $2000 scholarship serves to support aspiring naturalists in their endeavours to understand and protect the environment. The yearly application and selection process occurs in April and application information is posted in March of the given year.

Applications for April 2024 are Open

Merritt Gibson (front) ,with Cyril Caldwell, the former Curator of the Acadia Museum in Biology.

The Blomidon Naturalists Society is strongly committed to fostering diversity and inclusion within our community and encourages applications from all qualified candidates for the $2000 scholarship. Candidates who belong to equity-deserving groups are particularly encouraged to apply; including women, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities and other equity-deserving individuals. Candidates who identify as being from any of these groups are encouraged to voluntarily self-identify in their application materials. The student must show a strong academic record and a research interest in natural history, the environment, and/or conservation.

We are now accepting applications for 2024! Click on this  link for full details and how to apply. The deadline is  5 pm, April 29th. 

Merritt Gibson

Merritt Gibson taught in Biology at Acadia University for more nearly thirty years and was Head of the Department for much of that time. He was a founding member of the Blomidon Naturalists Society. A much-loved teacher and mentor, he will be remembered fondly by generations of students, inspiring many to go on to make their own contributions to science. Though his career, he served on many science and natural resources councils including the Science Council of Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He was past president and honorary life member of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, and recipient of the Confederation Medal of Canada. 

Recipients and Past Research

2023 (1)Taryn Muldoon and (2) Elizabeth Bateman

(1) Spatiotemporal analysis of the detection of the causative agent of white-nose syndrome and intestinal macroparasites from Nova Scotian bat guano

(2) An Illustrated Guide to the Inland Fishes of Nova Scotia


2022: Luca Voscort

Effects of imidacloprid basal bark sprays for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Adelges tsugae) control on native pollinator communities in old eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests in southwest Nova Scotia, Canada (Masters project)

2020: Victoria Ivey

2019: Riley Scanlan

Locating old growth forests in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia with a review of forest management and legislation

2018: (1) Rebecca Dodge and (2) Makenzie O’Quinn
(1) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in ex situ populations of Eastern Mountain Avens, Geum peckii Pursh (Rosaceae) from Nova Scotia, Canada
(2) Mu Na Kesinukutiwek: engaging the ‘Sick Indian’ with perspectives of Mi’kmaq on healing and sickness.

2017: (1) Michael Adams and (2) Carter Feltham
(1) Application of a multi-hydrophone drifter and porpoise detection software for monitoring Atlantic harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) activity in and near Minas Passage

2016: (1) Tyler d’Entremont and (2) Sarah Fancy

(1) Examining Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Spartina patens Aiton and Spartina alterniflora Loisel in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia
(2) Investigations of ex situ strategies for the conservation of Geum peckii (Eastern Mountain Avens)