Eric Mills

Inglis Professor; Professor Emeritus and Co-Founding Director, HOST

Eric Mills Eric Mills

BSc(Carleton), MS, PhD(Yale)

Currently Professor Emeritus of History of Science in the Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University and Inglis Professor, University of King’s College, Halifax, Canada.

Full-time residence in Lower Rose Bay, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

Native of Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. B.Sc. (Hons.), Carleton University, Ottawa, 1959; M.S. 1962 and Ph.D in biology, Yale University,1964. Teaching career: Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada); Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada); Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California. Full-time teaching and research 1967-2002 at Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College; part-time thereafter. Experience at sea in North and South Atlantic Oceans, Antarctic, and Pacific Ocean. Research experience and teaching as invertebrate zoologist, biological oceanographer, and as historian of science. Chairman, Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, 1990-1992. First Director of the History of Science & Technology Program at the University of King’s College, 2001-2002.

Dr. Mills’ research deals with 19th century natural history, the development of 19th and 20th century biological and physical oceanography, and the history of Canadian science. Birds and birding have been personal and semi-professional interests nearly all of his life.

Major publications

  • 1989. Biological Oceanography. An Early History, 1870-1960 (Cornell University Press) (paperback reprint 2012, University of Toronto Press).
  • 2009/2011. The Fluid Envelope of Our Planet. How the Study of Ocean Currents Became a Science (University of Toronto Press).
  • 2011 (with Lance Laviolette) The Birds of Brier Island, Nova Scotia (Proceedings of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science 46 (1)).
  • 2018 (editor & annotator). Audubon in Nova Scotia. An Excerpt from the Journals of John James Audubon. Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press.
  • 2020. “Too late for action.” A.G. Huntsman, M.L. Fernald and the Belle Isle Strait Expedition of 1923. Scientia Canadensis 42 (1): 75-95.