Biological Sciences Professor Robert Carlone embodies Teaching Excellence

A deep knowledge and enthusiasm for biology and how to teach it in a way that’s equally as effective as it is engaging is what inspired the Faculty of Mathematics and Science to recognize Professor of Biology Robert Carlone with the 2020 Teaching Excellence award.

Highly regarded for his developmental biology courses, which sees fourth-year Biology honours students lined up to do their honours thesis research with him, Carlone uses a hands-on approach to working with students.

During his 37 years at the University, Carlone has demonstrated his commitment to always going the extra mile for students and upholding academic rigour. He maintains a kind but firm approach to his teaching and encourages students to work hard, strive for more understanding and push themselves to achieve great things.

“Great professors always find a way to reach their students and inspire them to grow,” said Mathematics and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed. “Their love of the subjects they teach spreads through the campus and creates the next generation of talented Brock students who will change the world. Congratulations to Carlone on his award.”

The recognition of value the Faculty sees in Carlone is mutual with his own feelings about his work environment and the people in it, noting that the community has been “integral to any successes I have enjoyed.”

A standout moment from Carlone’s year, he said, was the culmination of his work with an “outstanding” PhD student, Sarah Walker.

“Sarah will be defending her thesis in July and is off to a very prestigious post-doctorate at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts in October,” he said. “She will represent Brock well.”

As a testament to his dedication to teaching, not even his upcoming retirement can stop Carlone from continuing to support Brock students.

“I will continue my research with two relatively new grad students with a continuing Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) grant and a new federal development grant examining the role of endocannabinoids in spinal cord regeneration in amphibians,” he said.

He believes that the characteristics of a good professor and a good student are simultaneous.

“Both require humility, wonder, determination and patience,” said Carlone. “And it’s important to be able to write coherently.”

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