Dr. John R. Wood

Emeritus Dean of Natural Sciences; Professor, Biology and Environmental Studies

P: 780-465-3500 Ext. 8044
  • PhD Entomology and Aquatic Ecology, University of California - Berkeley, 1988
  • M.Sc. Biology, Central Washington State University, 1977
  • BA Biology, North Park College, 1974


Dr. John R. Wood is Professor Emeritus at The King’s University. He is the President of the American Scientific Affiliation Executive Council and sits on the board of Global Scholars – Canada. John was the Dean of the Natural Sciences Faculty at King’s (2011 -2017) and prior to that, served as the Academic Dean for The Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. John was a founding member of the Environmental Studies program at King’s. He was also on the executive board of the Canadian College and University Environmental Network (CCUEN). This professional organization was instrumental in developing a nation-wide academic accrediting system for environmental science and studies degrees in Canada. In 2012, he was on the team when King’s was the first university to receive accreditation for the environmental studies degree.

Dr. Wood earned his PhD for research in insect behaviour and aquatic ecology at The University of California – Berkeley. Over his career he has taught insect biology, limnology, and stream ecology to students in Canada, the U.S., and overseas. His research interests lie in urban ecology, global food security, and campus sustainability. For over two decades, he and his students have studied population fluctuations of White-tailed Jackrabbits in Edmonton and their nocturnal behaviour. Together with Dr. Heather Looy, he has explored new food adoption practices and our cultural blind spot toward edible food insects (Loblaw’s stores have recently added Cricket Powder to its President’s Choice line across Canada). Recently his research has turned to exploring the ecological and theological implications of the necessity of physical death.

Research interests

  • Population ecology at urban-rural boundaries
  • Urban natural areas conservation
  • Attitudes toward food insects


  • Wood, J. R. (2016). An Ecological Perspective on the Role of Death in Ecology. Perspective in Science and Christian Faith 68, No. 2 (June): 74-86.
  • Looy, Heather and John R. Wood (2015). Imagination, Hospitality, and Affection: The unique legacy of food insects? Invited paper, Animal Frontiers 5 (2): 8 - 13).
  • Looy, H., F.V. Dunkel, J. R. Wood. 2013.  How Then Shall We Eat?  Insect-Eating Attitudes and Sustainable Foodways. Agriculture and Human Values Published on line 02 June 2013, Springer.
  • Steensma, K., D.R. Clements, J. R. Wood, R. Van Dragt and B. Lowe, 2013. Stewarding the gift of land: Christian campuses as land management models. Perspectives in Science and Christian Faith 65(2) (June): 104 – 115.
  • Cook, H. and J.R. Wood 2010. Looking at Nature through Other Eyes: God's Governance of Nature in the Religion-Science Debate. Christian Scholars Review XXXIX (3, Spring): 275 – 290.
  • Wood, J.R. 2009. Environmentalism. Pages 93 - 95, In: A Science and Religion Primer. Heidi A. Campbell and Heather Looy (eds), Baker Academic.
  • Wood, J.R. and G. Strong 2008. A Primer on Climate Change. Faith Today, January/February pages 18 – 22.
  • P. K. Mendez, J. R. Wood, & V. H. Resh 2007. Emergence, fluctuating sex ratios, and protandry in Neophylax rickeri (Trichoptera: Uenoidae), pages 197-202 in Bueno-Soria, J., R. Barba-Álvarez, and B. Armitage (Editors). Proceedings of the XIIth International Symposium on Trichoptera (2006). The Caddis Press. Columbus, Ohio. U.S.A. viii + 372 p.
  • Looy, H. and J.R. Wood. 2006. Attitudes Toward Invertebrates: Are Educational "Bug Banquets" Effective? Journal of Environmental Education 37 (2) (Winter): 37 - 48.
  • Wood, J.R. and S. Bouma-Prediger. 2006. Seeking Shalom, Chpt. 10, In: Living the Good Life on God's Good Earth: A Guide for Small Group Study and Reflection, edited by David Koetje, forthcoming with Faith Alive Christian Resources.
  • Wood, J. R., J. Krenz and T. Boyd-Zhang. 2006. Urban White-tailed Jackrabbits of the Edmonton Region (1992 - 2001). Pages: 103 - 114, In: R. Wein (ed) Coyotes Still Sing in My Valley: Conserving Biodiversity in a Northern City. Spotted Cow Press, Edmonton.
  • Wood, J.R. and K. Tomiyama. 2006. Horsehills Creek: An Urban Stream at the Rural-Urban Fringe. Pages 187 - 198, In: R. Wein (ed) Coyotes Still Sing in My Valley: Conserving Biodiversity in a Northern City. Spotted Cow Press, Edmonton
  • Wood, J.R., M. Bjelland, S. Bouma-Prediger, S. Bratton and J. Curry 2005. Christian Environmentalism: Cosmos, Community, and Place. Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith. Vol. 57, Number 1 (March): 1-5.
  • Westworth Environmental Associates 2001. Conserving Edmonton's Natural Areas: A Framework for Conservation Planning in an Urban Landscape. Steering Committee, City of Edmonton
  • Wood, JR. 2001. Biophilia and the Gospel: Loving Nature or Worshipping God? Chapter 8 in Living in the Lamblight: Christianity and Contemporary Challenges to the Gospel. H. Boersma, ed., Regent Press, Vancouver
  • Looy, H. & Wood, J.R. 2000. "My Ant Is Coming to Dinner." Proteus: A Journal of Ideas, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp. 52-56.
  • Spaling, H. and J.R. Wood 1998. Greed, need or creed? Farmland ethics in the rural-urban fringe. Land Use Policy 15 (2): 165-178.
  • Resh, V.H., J.R. Wood, E.A. Bergey, J.W. Feminella, J.K. Jackson, and E.P. McElravy 1997. Biology of Gumaga nigricula (McL.) in a Northern California Stream. Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Trichoptera. R. Hozenthal editor, pages 401-410. Ohio Biological Survey Press.
  • Wood, J.R., E.P. McElravy, and V.H. Resh 1996. Thermal-shock tolerance of three species of aquatic insects in a northern California geothermally influenced stream. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 72 (4): 227-234.

Administrative responsibilities

  • Professor Emeritus
  • Dean of Faculty of Natural Sciences (2011-2017)
  • Director Environmental Studies Program (2001 - 2008)
  • CUESN (Canadian University Environmental Science Network) Executive (2006-2012)
  • Academic Dean, The AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies (2006-2011)