Memorial scholarship established to honour Anina Hundsdoerfer

Alumna scientist remembered with graduate award.

(Edmonton) One year after her untimely passing, those closest to Anina Hundsdoerfer, '06 MSc (1981-2014) have established an endowed memorial scholarship in her honour.

"Anina was a wonderfully kind and generous colleague who was extraordinarily effective at connecting people," says Felix Sperling, a University of Alberta biological sciences professor who taught, worked and collaborated with Hundsdoerfer. "Through her work, Anina brought government, industry and academia together. The years that Anina graced us all in Alberta with her gentle helpfulness and sincerity were far too short."

A forest entomologist with the provincial government, German-born Hundsdoerfer was described by friends as a lover of nature with a charming smile. Her research focused on the dispersal of mountain pine beetle and modelled the neighbourhood infestation of lodgepole pine trees.

"She was always positive, highly motivated, extremely articulate and very independent," said Hundsdoerfer's graduate supervisor Fangliang He, a professor in renewable resources at the U of A. "She was simply a role-model student in the lab; we miss her so much."

A community of family, friends and colleagues wanted to honour Hundsdoerfer's passion and accomplishments with a legacy of support to U of A students who follow in her footsteps.

"The forests became her daily bread. Anina's life and death will forever be linked to Canadian forests," said the Hundsdoerfer family. "It is gratifying and soul-healing for our family to see them looked after by young people like Anina. We are immensely grateful to all the people involved in making this scholarship possible."

The Anina Hundsdoerfer Memorial Graduate Scholarship will be awarded annually on the basis of superior academic achievement to a student registered full-time in a graduate program in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences or the Faculty of Science who has completed most of the required course work for the degree. The recipient must have a well-established thesis program focusing on forest conservation or forest health. Within this focus, consideration will be given to projects that focus on the basic taxonomic inventory of natural forests.

"Memorial gifts are a comforting way to pay tribute to the memory of a friend, colleague or loved one," said Michele Shea, director of planned giving at the U of A. "We are honoured that Anina will be forever remembered at the University of Alberta with this special gift."

To donate to the Anina Hundsdoerfer Memorial Graduate Scholarship, or for more info about creating a memorial gift, contact Heather Dyck.