Rees Kassen

Professor of Evolutionary Biology, McGill University

Rees Kassen is an internationally recognized researcher, educator, and author in evolutionary biology. Rees also plays leading roles at the interface between science, society, and policy, serving currently as Vice-Chair of the Science and Innovation Advisory Council at the Institute on Governance, a board member of the Earth Leadership Program of FutureEarth, and as a public voice for research through media interviews, op-eds and blogs, as well as collaborations with artists and journalists. He previously chaired the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (, an association of 26 professional and scientific organizations acting on behalf of over 60,000 members from academia, industry and government in Canada, and was a founder and Co-Chair of the Global Young Academy (, an international organization of early-career researchers acting as the voice of young scientists around the world. Rees completed his PhD at McGill University (2001) and went on to an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship and Elizabeth Wordsworth Research Fellowship at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, joining the University of Ottawa in 2003 where he is currently Full Professor and Cystic Fibrosis Canada Researcher. He is a member of the Banff Forum (2015) and was a Leopold Leadership Fellow (2013), NSERC Steacie Fellow (2010), and a World Economic Forum Young Scientist (2010-2012).

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