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Brian Hall taught biology at Dalhousie University and did research in evolutionary developmental biology (EVO-DEVO), bone and cartilage formation in developing vertebrae embryos, and the neural crest tissue of embryos. Born in 1941, he studied zoology at the University of New England in New South Wales, earning a BSc in 1963 and a PhD in 1968. He came to Dalhousie in 1968, was appointed full professor in 1975, and served as department chair from 1978-1985. He was Izaak Walton Killam Research Professor from 1990-1995, Killam Professor of Biology from 1996-2001, George S. Campbell Professor of Biology from 2001-2007, and a University Research Professor from 2002-2007. His books include Evolutionary Developmental Biology; The Neural Crest in Development and Evolution; The Origin and Evolution of Larval Forms; and Variation: A Central Concept in Biology.
Hall retired from teaching as an emeritus professor in 2007 to focus on research and writing on embryonic skeletal development and evolutionary developmental biology, as well as removing gout weed from half an acre of Nova Scotia. He was appointed Visiting Distinguished Professor at Arizona State University in 2008, and received an honorary Doctors of Laws from the University of Calgary in 2014.