George Iwama

Assistant Director, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
Vice-Dean for Aquaculture and Strategic Initiatives, Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Adjunct Professor, Department of Zoology

Degrees: B.Sc. UBC; M.Sc. UBC; PhD. UBC

Contact Information

Phone: (604) 822-1605
Office: Faculty of Land and Food Systems
225-2357 Main Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia
Twitter: @GeorgeIwama
LinkedIn: George Iwama

Research Interests

George Iwama is a fish physiologist. His research has focused on acid-base and ionic regulation in fishes, and most recently on the stress response in fishes. With those in his lab, he has applied new knowledge to aquaculture and the environment. George Iwama is currently interested in sustainable food production systems involving aquaculture and aquaponics, integrated with renewable energy systems.


George Iwama most recently served the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University as Executive Vice President. He also served the same University as Provost and Vice-CEO. Prior to leaving Canada for that position, he served as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia. He has returned to his alma mater to work on special projects with both the Faculties of Science as well as Land and Food Systems. Dr. Iwama brings many years of experience as a professor, university administrator, community leader and public servant to his post.

He went to UNBC after having served as the Dean of Science at Carleton University in Ottawa since 2007. In 2004 he joined Acadia University as the Dean of Science until his appointment in 2006 as acting Vice-President Academic. Prior to his appointment at Acadia, Dr. Iwama spent four years as Director General of the National Research Council’s Institute for Marine Biosciences in Halifax. During that tenure, Dr. Iwama led the building of a new industry partnership facility at the IMB. He worked with universities, industry and government agencies to nurture new companies and attract established life science companies to the Maritimes. He also led the initiation of the NRC’s newest institute on Prince Edward Island, the Institute for Nutrisciences and Health.

Dr. Iwama holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. After leaving UBC for postdoctoral work in Texas at Austin(Lund Fellow) and Dalhousie University (Killam Fellow), he returned to take up a faculty position in Animal Science. He served there for 15 years where he attained the rank of full professor.

He is the recipient of a number of academic fellowships and awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Killam Foundation. He is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. His teaching has been in the area of comparative animal physiology with an emphasis on acid-base and ionic regulation, fish stress and fish aquaculture. His research interest is focused on the stress response in fish. He has published 141 peer reviewed scientific papers and edited two books. He is currently working on an edited volume with a colleague at the University of Guelph on climate change and non-infectious disorders of fish.

In addition to his passion for science he has been keenly interested in the public understanding of science. He has initiated and established Science Cafés in Wolfville, Ottawa, and now in Prince George where science of interest to the public is shared in plain English. He has worked, from time to time, on a children’s book on genomics.


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