Meet Matina: New Faculty of Science Dean Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell set to start July 1, 2019

    Joining the University of Alberta from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Kalcounis-Rueppell becomes the first female dean in the Faculty of Science.

    By Jennifer-Anne Pascoe on May 28, 2019

    With teaching and research interests centred on the behavior and ecology of wild mammals, with particular focus on bats and rodents and their use of ultrasound, Kalcounis-Rueppell has extensive administrative experience in academia, most recently serving as the Department Head of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).

    That administrative experience will hold Kalcounis-Rueppell in good stead as she steers the future of the Faculty of Science, the University of Alberta’s largest undergraduate faculty, with more than 6,000 undergraduate students, 1,200 graduate students, and nearly 300 faculty members.

    Beyond her teaching, research, and administrative responsibilities, Kalcounis-Rueppell also remains committed to community engagement, engaging the public in critical conversations about wildlife conservation and introducing them to the bats and mice in their own backyard as a local lens on the larger global scope.

    Her appointment is a milestone for the Faculty of Science, as she becomes the first female dean.

    Her new appointment marks Canadian Kalcounis-Rueppell's return to her home province of Alberta. Born in Edmonton and raised in Calgary, she studied biology at the University of Regina, earning both bachelor and master’s degrees. Following the completion of her PhD in zoology at the University of Western Ontario, Kalcounis-Rueppell conducted postdoctoral training at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California at Berkeley.

    Kalcounis-Rueppell will take up post in the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, starting July 1, 2019. She takes over from Interim Dean Frank Marsiglio, who assumed the role following the summer 2018 departure of Jonathan Schaeffer.


    In September 1908, the University of Alberta welcomed its first class of 37 students. The Faculty of Arts and Science was the first faculty named by the Senate, and while some sources state the U of A started with five professors, others state there were four professors. This discrepancy is likely due to the fact that in addition to Henry Marshall Tory’s role as president, he also taught mathematics and physics. It was not until 1963 that the two faculties split and the Faculty of Science became its own unit.