Marty Leonard

Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies


Dr. Marty Leonard became leader of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Graduate Studies in 2014 after more than two decades as a professor in the university’s Department of Biology. In addition to her work as an educator, Dr. Leonard served as an acting dean of the Faculty of Science and, beyond Dalhousie, as a member of organizations dedicated to the conservation of Canada’s natural environment.

As dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Dr. Leonard brings a deep understanding of the challenges faced by professors and their students. She aims to help Dalhousie’s educators – and those they train – overcome these challenges and achieve their goals.

Read Dr. Leonard's full profile

Dr. Marty Leonard first came to Dalhousie in 1993 as a faculty member in the Department of Biology. As a professor – what she describes as “the best job in the world” – Dr. Leonard has helped dozens of students fulfill their academic and research potential and prepare for exciting careers.

Although she still serves as a biology professor, including the supervision of graduate students, Dr. Leonard took on an even more challenging role in September of 2014, when she became dean of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Dr. Leonard approaches her leadership position with the same care and passion she has long brought to individual students.

“I can only do something I feel strongly about – that’s the way I operate,” she says. “I feel very passionate about graduate education and getting people trained to face the world.”

To Dr. Leonard, facing the world means preparing graduate students for a variety of career options. This includes adding to the existing suite of skills students already acquire in their programs – which ranges from teaching and academic research to networking to giving presentations – and offering an even more rounded graduate education.

“We want to know what else we need to give our students so that they leave here with all the skills they need,” says Dr. Leonard. “I’d like to see us develop more and more of these skills on top of the academic training, so that students are well prepared.”

Dr. Leonard’s vision also includes collaborating with Dalhousie’s graduate programs, departments, researchers and students to help each community reach its goals.

“There are 60 units and my job is to support them and help them do the job of training graduate students,” says Dr. Leonard

“They decide what they need to do and we help them do it.”

Dr. Leonard’s experience as a professor mentoring graduate students, combined with her ability to engage with colleagues and listen to their needs, leaves her well positioned to nurture and enhance graduate studies at Dalhousie.

“I like to meet people in different faculties and talk about their challenges,” she says, “because I can’t assume they’re the same as mine.”

Quick facts

  • Is a former chair and member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)
  • Has served as acting dean of the Faculty of Science and also held acting chair titles at Dalhousie
  • Enjoys running, hiking and skiing