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Canadian Society of Microbiologists Untitled 1

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WHAT'S NEW  ::  CSM & Microbiology

CSM & Microbiology

December 2, 2009
OBITUARY - ROGER KNOWLES (PhD, DSc, Emeritus Professor McGill) Passed away on November 27, 2009

ROGER KNOWLES (PhD, DSc, Emeritus Professor McGill) Passed away on November 27, 2009 at the Bayview Centre in Pointe Claire. Survived by his wife Ruth, son Michael, daughter Cindy, and grandchildren Nicholas, Brendan, Adrianna, Andrew, Heather and Hunter. A member of L'Association des Microbiologistes du Quebec, Roger was admired by many people for his lifetime of contributions to the field of Microbiology worldwide. In 1982, he received the Canadian Society of Microbiologists award for outstanding contributions. Roger had a great love for worldly travels, sailing and the outdoors. He also had a passion for music, singing in the Bach Choir and Tudor singers, and playing in the Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra and the Contabale Orchestra. He was also known for his devotion to his friends, colleagues and family. A special thanks to Dr. Jane Nayar, and also to all the people at Bayview Centre. Please join us for a memorial service to remember Roger Thursday, December 3 at 3:30 p.m., at the Collins Clarke Funeral Home at Hwy 20 & Ave. Cartier, Pointe Claire. A reception will follow at Tadja Hall, MacDonald Campus, 21082 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Contributions in Roger's memory can be made to the Roger Knowles Scholarship Fund at MacDonald College of McGill University.

Dr. Roger Knowles, Ph.D., D.Sc., F.R.S.C., Emeritus Professor, Macdonald Campus, McGill University 1929-2009

Dr. Roger Knowles passed away Friday November 27th 2009. His wife, Ruth, was by his side throughout to provide the best quality of life possible during a difficult time. He was devoted to his family, friends, and colleagues. He was a world renowned environmental microbiologist and a humanist beloved and respected by all who crossed his path. Those of us who were mentored by him were fortunate indeed. Dr. Knowles was an enthusiastic and major contributor to the Canadian Society of Microbiologists. In 1964 he was the representative for the Agricultural Microbiology section and went on to hold several positions including CSM president in 1987. He continued to serve the society as our representative for the International Union of Microbiology Societies until 2003. Dr. Knowles also contributed to the American Society for Microbiology. He was elected chairman for several sections of the ASM during the 1970’s and 80’s. Dr. Knowles was a member of Association des Microbiologistes du Quebec, (he was president in 1976-77), Soil Science Society of America and the Society of Sigma Xi. Dr. Knowles was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and honoraria including the CSM Award for outstanding scientific contributions in 1982, selected Membre émérite, Association des Microbiologistes du Quebec in 1986, awarded a D.Sc. by London University in 1986, elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1987 and appointed Emeritus Professor with McGill University in 1994. Roger Knowles was born in Halifax, England and served with the Royal Navy before pursuing a B.Sc. at Birmingham University. He obtained a Ph.D. at London University, University College in 1957. Dr. Knowles joined the Microbiology Department at Macdonald College in 1957 and taught microbial ecology to undergraduate and graduate students providing a sound basis of the many microbial driven nutrient cycles in aquatic and soil systems. He served as department chairman twice, 1970-74 and 1979-87, and sat on numerous college and university committees. Dr. Knowles was a member of the editorial board of several prestigious microbiology and soil science journals; he served twice on grants selection committees for National Sciences and Engineering Research Council and was a member of national and international committees examining microbial impacts on stratospheric air and water pollution. He had over 160 peer reviewed publications and book chapters and was an invited speaker 70 times. Roger had a great love for the outdoors starting with walks in England and the Scottish highlands and followed by many worldly travels with Ruth. At home, sailing on Lake St. Louis and the Lake of Two Mountains was a source of relaxation and pleasure for Roger. He also had a passion for music, singing in the Bach Choir and Tudor singers, and playing viola in the Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra and the Contabale Orchestra. Roger’s early research experience was an examination of humus in the boreal forest and this established the foundation for the highly significant contributions he made in Nitrogen, (nitrogen fixation, denitrification, nitrification) and methane cycling. His interest in microbial physiology and the kinetics of microbial activity in the environment inspired the research activities of over fifty graduate students, twenty five post-docs, many technicians and summer students and several visiting scientists in his laboratory. He managed to combine the role of department head and educator while leaving his office door open for his graduate students needing an answer to a pressing question or wishing to share a recent discovery.

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