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Dr. Robert G. Holmberg

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Current Position
  • Emeritus Professor (Biology), Athabasca University, since 2008

Professional Interests
  • Ecology and behaviour of arthropods, especially arachnids
  • Science education

  • Office: Science Laboratory, Centre for Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Athabasca University, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, Alberta, T9S 3A3, Canada
  • University telephone: 780-675-6596
  • Electronic mail:

  • Ph.D. 1979. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia. Thesis: Selective predation in a polyphagous invertebrate predator, Pardosa vancouveri (Arachnida, Araneae). Advisor: A.L. Turnbull, Department of Biological Sciences. 1971-74, part-time 1974-78.
  • M.Sc. 1971. University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Thesis: The odoriferous glands of some Palpatores Phalangida (Opiliones) (Arachnida). Advisor: T.H.J. Gilmour, Department of Biology. 1968-70.
  • Honours degree. 1970. University of Saskatchewan. Biology. 1967-68.
  • B.A. 1967. University of Saskatchewan. Biology. 1964-67.

Career History
  • Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor at Athabasca University, Edmonton and Athabasca. 1974 - 2007. Associate Dean, Arts and Sciences, half-time 1988-90. Occasional Acting Chair for the Centre for Science, 2004-06.
  • Canadian Program Manager/Advisor at Universitas Pattimura. 1993-95. Eastern Indonesian Universities Development Project, Ambon, Indonesia. Funded by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and administered through Simon Fraser University.
  • Visiting Researcher. 1980-81. Crop Entomology, Agriculture Canada Research Station, Lethbridge, Alberta.
  • Student Assistant. 1966-68 (summers). Worked on mosquitoes for a Western Encephalitis virus study. University of Saskatchewan and Agriculture Canada Research Station, Saskatoon.

Teaching Experience
1. Athabasca University (all undergraduate, distance education courses but some home and in-person laboratory components as well as field work)
  • Biology 100: Introductory Biology. 1976-78. Instructor and administrator for this audio-tutorial course.
  • Biology 201: World Ecology. 1974-1988. Author of some units, professor, tutor, and instructor for associated field workshop.
  • Biology 202 and 203: Introductory Biology I and II. 1992-93. Author of certain materials, professor, tutor, and lab instructor.
  • Biology 204, 205 and 206: Principles of Biology I and II and Biology Laboratories (Replacements for Biology 202 and 203). 1996-2007. Co-author, professor, tutor and lab instructor.
  • Biology 230: Human Physiology. 1985-88. Administrator.
  • Biology 321: Wild Flowers (plant taxonomy). 1992-93, 1997-2007. Administrator.
  • Biology 341: Human Genetics. 1981-82. Administrator.
  • Biology 342: Animal Behaviour. 1979-80, 1981-86, 1987-93, 1996-2000. Author, professor, and tutor.
  • Biology 345: Ecology. 2001-2007. Co-author, professor, and tutor. Instructor for workshop 2011-14.
  • Biology 378: Human Sexuality. 1981-82. Administrator.
  • Biology 495/496: Biology Projects. 1996-2007. Administrator and occasional student supervisor.
  • Environmental Science 200: Introduction to Environmental Science. 2004-2005. Administrator.
  • Environmental Science 495/496: Environmental Science Projects. 2001-2005. Administrator.
  • LABB 207: Biology Laboratory. 2003-2007. Professor and instructor for this lab course.
  • Science 314/315 (later 495/496): Science Projects. 1978-1987, 1988-93, 1999-2007. Author, administrator, occasional student supervisor.

2. Simon Fraser University (traditional lecture and lab formats)
  • Teaching Assistant, 1971-73, in ecology, introductory biology and vertebrate biology.

3. University of Saskatchewan (traditional lecture and lab formats)
  • Demonstrator and Teaching Assistant, 1965-70, in preparatory biology, zoology, and invertebrate zoology.

4. Graduate Students
  • On supervisory committees of one doctoral student and one masters student, University of Alberta. 1998-2007.
  • Chair of examining committee for a masters student from Technical University of Nova Scotia. 1995.
  • External referee for doctoral student from Madurai Kamaraj University, India. 1988.

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Athabasca University
Athabasca University Library
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm (MT)
Phone: (800) 788-9041, ext. 6254
Fax: (780) 675-6477