A Tribute to Dr David Schindler

Dr. Schindler
Members of The Department of Biological Sciences join The University of Alberta in mourning the loss of our colleague, Dr. David William Schindler who passed away on March 4, 2021 at the age of 80 years. Dave was a renowned and universally respected scientist whose innovative research over five decades led to better protection of freshwater watersheds around the world. Throughout his career, Dave had an exceptional ability to identify the most pressing environmental issues in aquatic sciences with topics ranging from eutrophication of great lakes, to atmospheric pollution of glaciers that provide our drinking water, to leaching of industrial pollutants at mining sites. He revealed the sources of threats to freshwater and their potential solutions, supporting both watersheds and the human communities that depend on them. In addition to being an exceptional scientist, Dave was a tireless advocate for environmental study and protection, a gifted public speaker and communicator, and a fearless ally of disadvantaged people. Dave led or contributed to over 300 scientific publications, effected policy change in countless contexts, mentored hundreds of students and colleagues, and received dozens of honorary degrees and international awards, including the Nobel-comparable Stockholm Water Prize.

We are grateful to have had Dave as our colleague. With his passing, we have lost Canada’s most celebrated and influential ecologist who will be lauded by future generations for the pioneering, rigorous, and impactful work that comprised his inimitable and illustrious career. We have also lost an absolutely exceptional human, who was as relentless and courageous in applying his considerable intellect to environmental issues in the public interest, as he was generous to and encouraging of junior scientists. As his colleagues in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta, we offer heartfelt condolences to Dave’s wife, Suzanne Bayley, who was also our colleague and a celebrated ecologist, and to his family, many friends, and colleagues around the world. Dave will be deeply missed, but his legacy includes lasting inspiration for others. Click here for a fuller description of Dave’s long and illustrious career.

It is with great sadness that the University of Alberta and the Faculty of Science announce the passing of Dr. David William Schindler. Dr. Schindler was an invaluable member of the Faculty of Science and the University of Alberta. A world-renowned ecologist and environmentalist, Dr. Schindler’s landmark research and passionate advocacy efforts led to better protection of freshwater ecosystems and watersheds around the world. Learn more about David and his incredible career.

Dr. Schindler himself saw the importance of supporting our students and had created an endowment to fund the David Schindler Undergraduate Scholarship in Environmental Science. This fund supports a fourth-year undergraduate student in an honors or specialization program who has demonstrated interest in graduate studies in Environmental Science. An online giving page has been set up for those who are wishing to support Dr. Schindler’s award in his memory.