Dennis Hubert Chitty Evolution and Ecology

One of the first animal ecologists in the world and a world expert on lemmings

The Story

Dr. Dennis Chitty has studied wild animal population cycles for more than 60 years and is regarded as a world expert on lemmings. He came to Canada in 1930 and worked with the Ontario Fisheries Research Laboratory summers while an undergraduate at the U of T. He has written many scientific papers on the changes in natural populations of animals, especially small mammals. Chitty’s studies are cited in all ecological textbooks and he has inspired a large number of experimental ecologists. His book Do Lemmings Commit Suicide?: Beautiful Hypotheses and Ugly Facts was released in 1996 (See Review).

Dr. Chitty passed away on February 3, 2010.

Sources: Canadian Who’s Who 1993; The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2000 ed.; BC Centre for Curriculum Transfer & Technology.


Career ideas:

  • Government paleontologist
  • University professor
  • Laboratory scientist
  • Chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and pulp/paper industries staff scientist
  • Petroleum/mining consultant
  • Private consulting scientist

The Person

September 18, 1912
Bristol, England
Professor Emeritus of Zoology, UBC (1961-1978)
University of British Columbia
  • BA, University of Toronto, 1935
  • MA, Oxford University, 1947
  • DPhil, Oxford University, 1949
  • DSc, Oxford University
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, 1969
  • Master Teacher Award, 1973
  • Fry Medal, 1988
Last Updated
April 8, 2015

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