Dr. R. Meldrum Robertson has been appointed as Head of the Department of Biology for a three-year term commencing July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2013.
Dr. Robertson holds a BSc (Hons) (1973), PhD (1978) and DSc (2000) from St. Andrews University (Scotland). He is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London (FRES; admitted 2009). He pursued post-doctoral studies at the Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Comparée (Arcachon, France) and in the Department of Physiology at the University of Alberta. He was appointed as Assistant Professor (NSERC University Research Fellow) in the Department of Biology at McGill University before coming to Queen's in 1988 as a Queen’s National Scholar and Associate Professor in the Department of Biology. He was awarded tenure in 1991 and promoted to Professor in 1995. He is also cross-appointed in the departments of Physiology and Psychology. In 2000 he held an appointment as Visiting Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, and in 2007 was a Visiting Research Scholar in the School of Biological Sciences at St. Andrews University (Scotland).
Dr. Robertson's research uses insect model systems and focuses on the operation of neuronal circuits that are responsible for controlling animal behaviour. His primary current interest is in determining the mechanisms by which neural circuits can be protected for successful operation under extreme environmental conditions. This research has relevance for understanding the processes underlying dysfunctions of the mammalian nervous system including stroke and migraine. It has additional relevance in consideration of how insect populations might be affected by climate change; particularly important for pest species such as locusts and grasshoppers. Dr. Robertson’s research has been funded by NSERC (Discovery and CHRP grants), by CIHR and by the Whitehall Foundation (US). He has trained 10 PhD students and 15 MSc students and has published over 100 full length articles in research journals and books and has 125 published abstracts.
Dr. Robertson has held Royal Society (UK), AHFMR, NSERC and QNS fellowships. He has served on NSERC and CIHR grant selection committees, has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Comparative Physiology and currently is a member of the College of Reviewers for Canada Research Chairs.