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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Mary Olaveson

Associate Teaching Professor


Faculty of Science

Focus on the development of curriculum that provides the foundational concepts to large first year classes in biology and environmental science. Focus on providing the necessary theory while incorporating opportunities to apply these concepts through hands-on activities so students can see the content in various formats that appeal to a variety of learning styles and student goals.

Contact information

Science Building - Room 3061
North Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5

905.721.8668 ext. 2979
905-721-3304 (fax)

Areas of expertise

  • Acidification
  • Algae
  • Extreme Environments
  • Freshwater
  • Metals
  • Mining Waste
  • Nutrients
  • Periphyton
  • Phytoplankton
  • Taxonomy


Mary Olaveson graduated from Trent University with BSc in Biology then completed an MSc in Botany at the University of Toronto with MSc. in Botany. After working briefly with a research/consulting company that was involved in mine site remediation and restoration, she started a consulting company that provided algal identification and quantification for a variety of clients (e.g. university researchers, government agencies and private-sector businesses including engineering firms, mining companies and other consulting groups).

She completed research towards a PhD at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) and began teaching a variety of undergraduate courses in biology and environmental science as a sessional instructor at both UTSC and Ontario Tech University before being hired at Ontario Tech University where she teaches large first year courses in biology and environmental science as well as smaller classes in plant biology and bioethics. In addition, Mary is the Coordinator for the Durham Regional Science Fair, an annual event hosted by the Faculty of science at Ontario Tech University.


  • BSc (Hon) Trent University 1977
  • MSc Univeristy of Toronto 1984

Courses taught

  • BIOL 1010 Molecular and Cellular Systems
  • BIOL 1011 Introductory and Cellular Biology
  • BIOL 1020 Diversity of Life and Principles of Ecology
  • BIOL 1021 Introduction to Organismal Biology and Ecology
  • BIOL 3640 Plant Biology
  • BIOL 4020 Introduction to Environmental Toxicology
  • BIOL 4080 Bioethics
  • ENVS 1000 Environmental Science