Awards and Scholarships

The VIU Biology Department presents over 10 awards / scholarships to Biology students, totaling over $15,000 each year. A description of each award is provided below, and more details including a list of past award recipients are available by clicking on each award's name. More information about VIU Awards and Scholarships

Biology Department Outstanding Student Award

Given annually, this $1,000 award is presented in recognition of the graduating student who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement (overall highest GPA) in their BSc, Major or Honours in Biology program. This Biology faculty-selected award is supported by Biology faculty and Biology graduate alumni contributions.

Outstanding Biology 491 Independent Research Award

Given annually, a $250 award is presented in recognition of the student who achieves the highest overall grade for their Biology 491 independent research project. This Biology faculty-selected award was generously supported by an anonymous Biology alumnus from 2011-2016 and continues by donations from Biology faculty.

Dr. Andy Spencer Legacy Award

Given annually, a $2,000 award for a VIU science student accepted into post-graduate studies in the final year of their BSc. This science faculty-nominated scholarship is awarded to a student in recognition of outstanding potential for excelling in graduate studies in the natural sciences. It is supported by generous contributions from Andy’s family and friends.

Dr. Andy Spencer Bamfield Marine Sciences Summer Course Award

This $500 award recognizes Dr. Spencer’s leadership and vision at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, and at VIU. VIU Biology students who have completed the 2nd year of their BSc, and who have been accepted into a BMSC summer course are encouraged to apply. This award is supported by generous contributions from Andy’s family and friends.  

Dr. Jane Watson Biology Conference Award

This award supports biology student travelling to scientific conferences (awarded funds vary with cost of conference fees). Students who are completing their BSc degree in Biology and are conducting, or have completed, their BIOL 490 or BIOL 491 independent research project can apply to attend or present their research at a scientific conference. This Biology faculty-selected award is supported by generous contributions from Jane’s friends.

Dr. Tanya and Lawrence DePorto Doctorate Scholarship

Given annually, this $500 annual scholarship is awarded to a graduate in their final year of their BSc degree  in Biology who has been accepted into a doctoral program in the health, medical, or veterinary sciences. This Biology faculty-nominated scholarship is supported by generous contributions each year from Tanya and Lawrence Deporto.

Ryan Cathers Memorial Award

Given annually, this $1,500 scholarship is awarded to a 3rd or 4th year VIU Biology student, with career interests in ecology and natural history, including ornithology, and in recognition of community and/or university volunteer excellence. This Biology faculty-selected award is supported by generous contributions from Ryan’s family and friends. 

Dr. David Gaumont-Guay Legacy Scholarship

Given annually, this $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a VIU BSc in Biology student who shows outstanding academic achievement in all three of David’s teaching and research passions: ecology, botany, and independent scientific research. This Biology faculty-selected award is supported by generous contributions from David’s family and friends.

Sheila Marshall Memorial Award

Given annually, this $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a VIU BSc in Biology student who shows outstanding academic achievement in Sheila’s life-long teaching interests: ecology, botany, chemistry and independent scientific research. This Biology faculty-selected award is supported by generous contributions from Sheila’s family and friends.

Dr. John Amaral Memorial Award

Given annually, this $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a VIU BSc in Biology student who shows outstanding academic achievement and independent research potential in the microbiological sciences. This Biology faculty-selected award is supported by generous contributions from John’s family and friends.

Dr. Donald F. Alderdice Memorial Scholarship

Given annually, this $2,500 award is awarded to an academically strong, continuing, upper-level Biology student, with career goals or interests in aquatic biology, including marine biology, aquaculture, and fisheries. This award is in memory of Donald Alderdice, who devoted his life's work to fisheries research. This Biology faculty-selected scholarship is supported by generous contributions from Don’s family and friends.

Award recipients:
Aliandra (Ally) Badger, 2021
Lucas Abruzzi, 2020
McIntyre (Mac) Barrera, 2019
Colin Olson, 2018
Chanelle Clement, 2017
Csilla Vasarhelyi, 2016
Xin Li, 2015
Katie Davidson, 2014
Ariel Muirhead, 2013
Kala (Kayla) Mohns, 2012

Additional Biology Awards

In addition to Biology Department-selected awards and scholarships, the following are also available to academically strong BSc (Biology) students.

Dr. K.S. Ketchen Biology Award

Given annually, this $1,500 award is available to 3rd or 4th-year Bachelor of Science (Biology) students, based on academic achievement and financial need. Applicants must be Canadian citizens. Selection is by the VIU Awards office, via its on-line award student profile.

Award Recipients:
Kathleen Dale, 2020
Melissa Verhoeks, 2019
Cassandra Twiname, 2018

Ms. Mollie Byrne Biology Scholarship

Given annually, this $2,500 award is available to 3rd or 4th-year Bachelor of Science (Biology) students, with demonstrated academic excellence. Selection is by the VIU Awards office, via its on-line award student profile.

Award Recipients:
Daniel Zuloaga, Thomas Allan, Brant Cartwright, Taylor McCormick, 2020
Cassandra Twiname, Marisa Livingstone, Trisha Holland, Christopher Shanks, 2019