On June 14, 2011, the University of Victoria conferred an honorary doctor of science on Mary-Lou Florian, BA’48. An internationally recognized pioneer of conservation science in Canada, Mary-Lou Florian was the first biologist hired by the Canadian Conservation Institute before she joined the staff of the Royal BC Museum in 1978. Through an extended and distinguished career at the Museum, she focused her expertise on artifact conservation – especially First Nations’ totems, basketry and wooden cultural objects recovered from waterlogged archaeological sites. She has consulted widely on fungal damage in art collections, is regularly called upon to identify archaeological wood and plant materials, and in 1989 served as the conservationist on the Jason Project, the Mediterranean expedition led by Robert Ballard (who would later lead the discovery of the Titanic’s final resting place). Ms Florian has given numerous mycology and museum-related lectures and courses in North America and Europe and is a past recipient of the Governor General’s 125 Commemorative Medal for her contribution to community heritage preservation.


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