Born in Brooks, Alberta, Summerbell trained as a botanist, receiving his master's degree from the University of British Columbia and his doctorate degree from the University of Toronto. He has lived with his partner, Ross Fraser (born March 26), since 1978 (anniversary December 1, 1978) and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
Summerbell has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers in mycology, botany and bacteriology, including research papers in Nature and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Much of the research explores opportunistic fungal pathogens—those that grow on (and at the expense of) humans and animals—and the unique ways in which these organisms exploit their environments. These environments are diverse. They include biofilms in hospital plumbing that harbour fungal pathogens which attack patients hospitalized for leukemia or major organ transplants. They also include waterfront vacation properties on streams, lakes or rivers that infect otherwise healthy visitors with the often deadly disease blastomycosis. His most cited works are on the fungi that cause human skin diseases (dermatophytes) and nail infections (onychomycosis). As of July 9, 2010, his 1989 paper on onychomycosis is the most-cited original research paper published in the over 50-year history of the journal Mycoses.
Richard Summerbell is a Canadian mycologist, author and award-winning songwriter. He was a gay activist and an early commentator on (then) controversial topics such as AIDS and promiscuity and attitudes to homosexuality in organized religion. Summerbell trained as a botanist, receiving his master's degree from the University of British Columbia and his doctorate degree from the University of Toronto. He has lived with his partner, Ross Fraser, since 1978 and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
Summerbell spent a decade as the Chief of Medical Mycology at the Ontario Ministry of Health Public Health Lab in Toronto, followed by 6 years as senior scientist at the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, a mycological institute and branch of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Utrecht. He was editor-in-chief of the international scientific journal Medical Mycology from 2000 to 2004. Since 2008, he has been a faculty member of the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and research director of Sporometrics, a Toronto-based microbiological testing company.
Summerbell has co-authored two textbooks in medical mycology, Identifying Filamentous Fungi (simultaneously published in French as Champignons Filamenteux D'Interêt Medical) and Laboratory Handbook of Dermatophytes.
Summerbell began working as a gay activist in 1979 when he became president of the gay and lesbian student association at the University of British Columbia. He was co-host of Coming Out, Canada's first gay and lesbian radio programme on CFRO-FM in Vancouver from 1978 to 1980. He was also an editor of the gay liberation magazine The Body Politic from 1982 to 1986 and a contributor to other early Canadian gay publications such as Q Magazine. As a gay activist, he was an early commentator on (then) controversial topics such as AIDS and promiscuity, and attitudes to homosexuality in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
In 1985, he published a humorous look at gay life and culture entitled Abnormally Happy: A Gay Dictionary that satirizes stereotypical views of gays and lesbians.
Summerbell also authored an early safe sex campaign series called "Is There a Condom in Your Life?" in Toronto gay newspaper Xtra!, beginning in 1987.
As a songwriter and musician, Summerbell released an independent CD, Light Carries On, in 2004. One song from the CD, Thank you for being My Dog, won the 7th Annual Great American Song Contest in the Special Music category and won Summerbell a place in the Great American Song Hall of Fame. Songs by Summerbell have been included in several popular compilations of music by gay musicians. He has also written contemporary lyrics for the Huron Carol.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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