Dr. Norman Yan completed his MSc and PhD dissertations on the effects of acid rain and metal pollution on Ontario lakes, then worked as a research scientist with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for 25 years. In 2000, he negotiated a 5 year partnership between the MOE and York University, accepting a position as Professor in York’s Biology Department, and conducting a body of research on the effects of multiple stressors on Ontario Lakes co-developed by Yan and collaborating government scientists. Given its success, this partnership was renewed twice, until Norman’s retirement in 2014. During this period, Norman taught in Toronto, but conducted most of his research in Muskoka.
Norman has co-authored over 200 publications on Canadian lakes, a body of work which is widely recognized. He is one of only four Canadians to receive both the K. Patalas award for research excellence in applied limnology (the study of lakes), and the F.H. Rigler Memorial Award from the Society of Canadian Limnology for his contributions to fundamental understanding in limnology. Dr. Yan received a Premier’s Research Excellence Award from the Ontario government, and has received visiting fellowships from the Australian and Italian governments. For his contributions to the understanding and wise management of Canadian lakes, he was inducted as a Fellow by the Royal Society of Canada in 2014.
Norman and his wife Sandy have also run a Bed and Breakfast in Bracebridge for over 20 years. They have entertained over 4000 visitors in their home. Norman has held every position on the board of the Muskoka Bed and Breakfast Association, a not-for-profit corporation.