Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 10:43:32 AM
Subject: Thelma Finlayson has passed away

Dear all,
I am very sad to have to tell you that professor emerita Thelma Finlayson passed away last night (September 15, 2016).  She was 102.  Thelma had been ailing of late, and had a stroke on Labor Day from which she did not recover.  She was a trailblazing scientist and an unflagging supporter of our Master of Pest Management Program.  I have posted a short bio below.


Thelma Finlayson began her entomological career in 1937 as a Technical Officer for the Canada Dept. of Agriculture, Belleville Research Institute. She was one of the first women scientists to enter the federal research branch. In 1967, Finlayson was appointed Assistant Professor and Curator of Entomology at Simon Fraser University—the first woman in the Department of Biological Sciences. She was a founding member of SFU’s Centre for Pest Management, rose to the position of Full Professor (1976), and has held the position of Professor Emerita since 1979 (SFU’s first Professor Emerita). Finlayson’s primary interest is in the taxonomy of natural enemies with application to Biological Control. She published approximately 40 papers, Memoirs and book chapters during her career, and was particularly successful in her work on the taxonomy of immature Hymenoptera.

In 1983, Finlayson was appointed as Special Advisor at the SFU Academic Advice Centre—now the Thelma Finlayson Centre for Student Engagement—and retained that position until 2012 (during which time she advised more than 8,000 students). In addition to the tremendous amount of time that she devoted to students, Thelma was a clear advocate of entomology through significant financial contributions, including an endowment to establish the Finlayson Chair in Biological Control, and entrance scholarships and fellowships for students in the Master of Pest Management program.

Professor Finlayson was named to the Order of Canada in 2005 as “a trailblazing entomologist and a beloved teacher and advisor”.