N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 25, 1989
Discipline / contribution: biology
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of Council and Senate, I present to you, Peter Anthony Larkin.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Dr. Larkin was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but grew up in Regina. Upon graduating from Balfour Technical School he won the Governor General's Bronze Medal. He then spent a year at Regina College before enrolling in the Department of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan where he received the Governor General's Gold Medal when he graduated with a B.Sc. He completed a Master's degree in 1948 and was awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship which he used to acquire a D.Phil. degree at Oxford University.
Peter Larkin's academic achievements at this University marked the beginning of an illustrious scientific career. He was involved in the first limnological research of large lakes in the Canadian Northwest under the supervision of Dr. Donald Rawson. For his Master's degree he studied fish food invertebrates in Great Slave Lake and Lake Athabaska.
After completing his doctorate Dr. Larkin returned to Canada in 1948 to become the Chief Fisheries Biologist in British Columbia. While in this position, he completed the first limnological review of lakes in that province which led to the scientific management of their fish resources. In 1955 he was appointed Director, Institute of Fisheries, and Professor of Zoology at the University of British Columbia. From 19G3-1966 he was Director, Pacific Biological Station, Fisheries Research Board of Canada, in Nanaimo, but resumed his position at the University of British Columbia in 1966. Six years later he was appointed Head of the Department of Zoology, a position he held until 1975. His research included definitive studies of fish populations. He pioneered the use of mathematical modelling of fish stocks which lead to an understanding of fish population dynamics. He made major contributions to the theory of resource management and to understanding predator-prey relations. He published more than 135 scientific papers and authored a book on Canadian regional pollution problems. In recognition of his outstanding scientific achievements he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1965. In addition, he is well known for his excellent teaching for which the Master Teacher Award was bestowed upon him in 1971.
For over a decade Dr. Larkin served in an administrative capacity as Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies (1975-1984) and Vice President, Research (1986-1988) at the University of British Columbia. He was appointed University Professor in 1988 and continues as a professor in the Department of Zoology and in the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology.
Dr. Larkin has served and continues to serve on many public and private boards. He was the National Chairman, Marine Productivity Subcommittee of the Canadian Committee for the International Biological Program (CIBP), from 1968-1973. He made major contributions with regard to scientific policy mechanisms and research management while serving on the National Research Council of Canada and the Science Council of Canada, 1971-1978. He is President, Rawson Academy of Aquatic Science, an association which encourages excellence in aquatic science and examines problems, policies and programs regarding water resource use and management in Canada. He is currently chairing a committee which is assessing research and its financing in the humanities, sciences and social sciences in Canada for the Royal Society of Canada.
Among the awards Professor Larkin has received are the Canadian Centennial Medal, the Queen's Jubilee Medal, the Canadian Society of Zoologists Frey Medal, the American Fisheries Society Award of Excellence, the Rawson Academy of Aquatic Science Award of Excellence and the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists Outstanding Achievement Award.
It is with a great deal of pleasure that I welcome University Professor Larkin back to the University of Saskatchewan on this occasion.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Peter Anthony Larkin and ask that you confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: U.T. Hammer
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