In Memory of Donald W. Thomas

On May 30, 2009, Professor Donald W. Thomas, Dean of the Faculty of Science, died at the age of 55 following a stroke on the island of Corsica.

Donald W. Thomas had just arrived at the location where for years he had conducted field studies, the “Isle of Beauty” as Corsica is called. He was felled by a stroke as he was resuming his observations of nesting blue tits.

Professor Donald W. Thomas had been head of the Faculty of Science since 2005. He had recently been reconfirmed for a second term by a unanimous vote of the nominating committee.

The Faculty of Science and the scientific community mourn the passing of a scientist who left an original mark on the study of the nutritional and energetic physiology of animals. Donald W. Thomas began his career at the Université de Sherbrooke in 1985 as a research fellow of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. In 1990 he became Professor in the Biology Department, where he trained twenty-one graduate students and some twenty cohorts of undergraduate students in Ecology.

The Thomas laboratory studied a variety of animal models, the principal subjects being bats, chipmunks and the blue tits of Corsica. Professor Thomas made numerous contributions to science, notably his work on dormancy and hibernation in bats and chipmunks, energy costs in high-demand periods such as reproduction in birds and hibernation in rodents, and body condition and metabolic regulation in mammals and birds.

His research gave him an understanding of the world that went beyond received ideas, as expressed in his Word of Welcome to the Faculty of Science.

Keep the memory alive

To keep alive the memory of his contribution as both a scientist and a human being, the Donald W. Thomas Fund has been created with the agreement of his family. The sums received will go toward continuing the mission of teaching and research at the Faculty of Science. The Fund will be managed by the Fondation de l’Université de Sherbrooke.

To contribute to the Fund, click here and indicate your wishes on the "In Memoriam" form.