"The Search for New Worlds like the Earth"
Ernie Seaquist is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto. His career of research and teaching there spans a period of 50 years, working in the specialty area of the birth of new stars and the resulting impact upon their environment. He has published about 200 research papers and graduated 14 PhD and 12 MSc students.
Ernie is a long standing supporter of Canada’s engagement in astronomical research, and has served in many senior capacities in this role. He served for 11 years as the Chair of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Director of its David Dunlap Observatory. He served as President of the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) and on numerous national and international committees planning major facilities for research. These include two terms on CASCA’s Long Range Planning Panel outlining priorities for Canadian astronomy, and one term as Chair of its review panel. He also served on and chaired many panels and boards associated with multiple agencies, including the National Research Council of Canada, the international James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Space Agency and the U.S. Associated Universities Inc. His interest in Canada’s engagement in large radio astronomy projects led to membership on the site selection panel for the international Square Kilometre Array, which will be the largest radio telescope ever built when completed in the next decade.
His most recent activity includes a term of four years as Director General of the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA) which supports the acquisition of major research facilities for its 20 member universities. ACURA was successful in obtaining federal funding ($243M) for Canadian participation in the Thirty Meter Telescope, an international giant optical telescope project with many international partners. If completed today it would be the largest of its kind in the world.