oral history interview with AGH
of Toronto Archives. Archives Oral History Programme collection.
Archibald Gowanlock Huntsman (1883–1973) was a pioneer Canadian
oceanographer and fisheries biologist. A native of Ontario, he was
educated at the University of Toronto. Although Dr. Huntsman received an
MD degree, he never practiced medicine. Instead, he conducted biological
oceanographic research in the early years of the 20th century at both
Nanaimo, British Columbia, and St. Andrews, New Brunswick.
1911, Dr. Huntsman was appointed Curator at St. Andrews and later became
Director, a post he held until 1934. Dr. Huntsman also served as Director
of the newly established Fisheries Experimental Station in Halifax, Nova
Scotia, from 1924 to 1928.
Huntsman served as editor of Fisheries Research Board (FRB) publications
from 1934 to 1949 and as consulting director to the FRB from 1934 to 1953.
He also played a leading role in academia and was lecturer and later
professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Toronto for
almost 50 years.
Huntsman was president of the Royal Society of Canada in 1938. In 1952,
Dr. Huntsman was the winner of the Flavelle medal. The Huntsman Marine
Laboratory in St. Andrews, founded in 1970, is named in his honour.
However, it was Dr. Huntsman's research that represents his greatest
achievement. He published more than 200 scientific reports on a wide range
of topics and collaborated with top marine scientists in both Canada and
the United States.
While best known for his research on Atlantic salmon, Dr. Huntsman's
scientific interests were very broad and he made important contributions
to oceanography, marine invertebrates, marine ecology, growth and fatigue
in fishes, fish migration, philosophy, the economics of fishing, and fish
Huntsman was a truly remarkable scientist and Canadian who set a wonderful
example of accomplishment to inspire future A.G. Huntsman Award winners.
His overall impact on marine science was elegantly captured by Dr. W. Bev
Scott who wrote: "….his works were truly pioneering and far in
advance of contemporary thinking. His writings and discourses
characteristically challenged accepted or established thought. Indeed this
attitude of critical appraisal is not only characteristic but also one of
his most valuable contributions to science."