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Memorable Manitobans: Robert Arnold Wardle (1890-1974)

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Robert Arnold Wardle
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Entomologist, parasitologist, professor.

Born at Clifton, England in 1890, he studied zoology at Manchester University and the University London prior to lecturing at the Royal College of Science in London from 1912 to 1914. During the First World War, he served as an infantry officer and was severely wounded in 1918. Between 1919 and 1928 he was Special Lecturer in Zoology at Manchester and published his first book The Principles of Insect Control in 1923. During 1923 and 1924 he worked in the Sudan investigating the control of cotton pests. From 1927 to 1928 he held a Rockerfeller Visiting Fellowship in zoology and lectured in entomology at the University of Minnesota.

In 1928, Wardle accepted an invitation to become head of the Department of Zoology at the University of Manitoba, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1958. During his career in Manitoba, he published numerous papers on tapeworms culminating in the paper The Zoology of Tapeworms published jointly with J. A. McLeod. He later published Advances in the Zoology of Tapeworms, 1950-1970 with McLeod and S. Radinsky.

He believed firmly in the interrelation of arts and science, introducing a course on genetics and evolution for Arts students at the University of Manitoba. He frequently gave radio talks on biology and his lectures were renowned for their humour and wit. He served as President of the Natural History Society of Manitoba (1930-1932). In 1958, he accepted an appointment at the University of Winnipeg where he established a Department of Zoology, retiring a second time in 1962.

He died in Winnipeg on 2 January 1974 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.


“Was prof, author, local zoologist dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 January 1974.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 January 1974.

Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada, Series IV, Volume XIII, 1975.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 May 2019

Memorable Manitobans

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