Announcing the Dean of the Faculty of Science

Dr. Declan Ali has been appointed Dean, Faculty of Science.

Dr. Declan Ali, Dean of the Faculty of Science

Dr. Declan Ali

We are pleased to jointly announce the appointment of Dr. Declan Ali as the Dean of the Faculty of Science for a five-year term beginning on July 1, 2023.

Dr. Ali has an impressive track record in leadership at the U of A. He has served as Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Science and as Acting Associate Vice-President (AVPR) and is currently Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and professor in the Faculty of Science.

In his tenure as Chair since 2022, Dr. Ali has led close to 100 faculty and staff and more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students while managing a budget of $20 million and research funds of $18 million. As Associate Dean of Research he helped construct the current faculty strategic plan (2020-25), fully supporting the pillars of collaboration, equity, diversity and inclusion, transparency and shared leadership. As AVPR, he spent considerable time working with faculties across the institution on strategic initiatives and large-scale collaborative grants such as CFI and Genome Canada.

Dr. Ali’s internationally recognized research examines developmental neurobiology and the effects of cannabinoids and alcohol on neurodevelopment. His research has continuously received NSERC funding as principal or co-applicant and he has over 70 peer-reviewed publications. Since beginning his career at the U of A in 2000, he has supervised or co-supervised more than 70 trainees including postdoctoral fellows, graduate, undergraduate and high school students. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto with his research focused on the neurobiological control of invertebrate glandular tissue and an honours bachelor of science degree in biology and physics from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Ali’s vision for his role as Dean will place emphasis on his commitment to people, whose support is critical to its success. His priority is to set standards of excellence in recruitment of faculty and staff, hiring and mentoring the next generation of talented individuals through a lens of EDI. Dr. Ali is committed to teaching and pedagogy and will increase course flexibility, while prioritizing Indigenizing curriculum moving forward. He will grow philanthropic donations by working with Advancement and Alumni Relations by demonstrating the Faculty’s incredible research, teaching and development of professionals to alumni.

Dr. Ali succeeds Dr. Frederick West, who has served as Acting and Interim Dean for the past two years. We would like to thank Dr. West for providing exceptional leadership as Acting and Interim Dean during his tenure.

Lastly, we’d like to thank the Dean Selection Committee for their hard work and recommendation on this important decision for the future leadership of the Faculty of Science.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ali on his appointment.

Verna Yiu
Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell
College Dean and Vice-Provost, College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS)