Lesley Rigg is an internationally recognized scholar with more than 18 years of experience working in postsecondary education. Before coming to the University of Calgary, she was vice-president for research and innovation partnerships at Northern Illinois University (NIU).
During her time at NIU, Rigg was responsible for the research mission of the university - this included maintaining dynamic research programs, partnering with federal laboratories, and supporting the commercialization of scientific inventions. She was also the president of the Northern Illinois Research Foundation, which works to advance the educational research, public service and economic development mission of NIU.
Rigg is a forest ecologist, earning a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies from York University in Toronto, a master’s degree in geography from the University of Colorado and a doctorate degree in geography and environmental studies from the University of Melbourne in Australia.
She has written and contributed to dozens of peer-reviewed journals, facilitated international workshops, and participated in a variety of panels. Rigg is a former member of the National Committee on the Status of Women in Geography of the Association of American Geographers, and the former Chair of the National Biogeography Specialty Group.
In 2009, Rigg won the student-generated campus Excellence Teaching award (NIU) as well as the Wilma Strickland award for enhancing the climate for women on campus (NIU). She was also awarded the Women Who Make a Difference Award, Honorable Mention (NIU) in both 2014 and 2015.
Her research interests include biogeography with an emphasis on forest ecosystems and vegetation dynamics.
Lesley Rigg was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science for a five-year term starting July 1, 2015.