Skoropad, William Peter

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Skoropad, William Peter

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1918-1993

History

Dr. William (Bill) Peter Skoropad was born in Plain Lake, Alberta on May 23, 1918. His parents immigrated from the Ukraine to Canada in 1901. Skoropad completed his First Class Teaching Certificate at the Edmonton Normal School in 1937. He then went on to teach at grade school in Alberta.

Skoropad was a Trainee, Bombing Instructor in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1941 to 1945 and was also in the Anti-submarine Patrol. Following the war he went back to teaching and enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Alberta (U of A). Skoropad completed his B.Sc. in Plant Science in 1950 and his M.Sc. in Genetics in 1951 from the U of A. In 1955 he completed his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin.

In 1952 he joined the Canada Agricultural Plant Pathology Service as an Agricultural Research Officer. Skoropad was appointed Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology at the U of A in 1959 and became a full professor in 1967. From 1967 to 1968 he was the Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and from 1968-1969 and 1980-1982 he was Acting Chair and Chair of the Department of Plant Science. He started the first course at the U of A in Forest Pathology. Skoropad retired from the U of A in 1982 as Professor Emeritus.

Following his retirement he spent a year with the Canadian International Development Agency in Njoro, Kenya working on oilseed diseases. He completed extensive research and produced publications throughout his career. Some of the topics Skoropad worked on included; epidemiology and genetics for the scald disease barley, strategy of using radiation to control grain storage molds, and mechanisms of fungal penetration of plants using the anthracnose disease of cereals caused by Colletotrichum graminicola as a model system. Skoropad published close to 50 research papers in his career.

From 1968 to 1969 he was the President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society and a Charter Member of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta. Skoropad was also a member of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists and the American Phytopathological Society.

Skoropad was married to his wife Catherine and had four children, Robert, Terry, John, and Cathie.Skoropad passed away on April 23, 1993 at the age of 74.

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Updated by M.F. 22 Feb. 2022.

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