Prof. Beverley Hale

Prof. Beverley Hale has been appointed U of G’s new associate vice-president research (agri-food partnership). Her five-year appointment begins Jan. 1, 2018.

Hale, currently associate dean (research and graduate studies) in the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) and an environmental sciences professor, studies plant and soil conservation and sustainable mining.

“Professor Hale is simply an outstanding choice for this leadership role that helps guide and support our University’s extensive, world-class agri-food research enterprise, and sustains our phenomenal partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research).

“She is recognized internationally for her research excellence, for directing national collaborations, and for the many partnerships she has developed with other scholars, government and the private sector.”

The OMAFRA-U of G partnership provides millions of dollars to support U of G research and innovation on the most important priorities for the agri-food sector, he said. “It is a globally recognized research powerhouse, and returns more than $1.15 billion a year to the Ontario economy.”

He said Hale will focus on further strengthening that partnership as well as other agri-food relationships.

“Professor Hale has nearly 30 years of experience as a researcher and scholar in agriculture and the environment. She has the background and expertise to engage with stakeholders and lead this important partnership. I know the University community will join me in enthusiastically welcoming her in this new role,” Campbell said.

In making the announcement, he thanked interim AVPR Wayne Caldwell for further enhancing the OMAFRA-U of G partnership over the past year.

As AVPR, Hale will manage research programs and training in agri-food, environmental sustainability, animal and human health, at diverse research facilities across Ontario, including at U of G’s Ridgetown Campus. She will oversee Laboratory Services and relationships with numerous public- and private-sector partners.

“Partnerships enable us to turn research knowledge into applications that benefit society and bring economic prosperity,” Hale said.

“That’s especially important in our relationship with OMAFRA. I plan to work closely with our partners to ensure the integrity of our agri-food system, foster economic development and continue to provide high-quality personnel for the sector.”

Hale earned a PhD from U of G, and completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Toronto. She joined U of G in 1990, and served as OAC’s associate dean (research and innovation) from 2009 to 2017.

She has received more than $10-million worth of research support during her career, and serves on numerous government and public advisory committees, including Natural Resources Canada’s Green Mining Initiative.

Hale led a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Strategic Network from 2004 to 2010 that developed new measurements of metal mixture impacts on soil microbes, invertebrates, plants and aquatic organisms. This national network received $5 million from NSERC, as well as support from partner organizations.