The Larkin Legacy

Peter Larkin, University of British Columbia Archives, UBC 18.1/2-1

Peter Larkin, University of British Columbia Archives, UBC 18.1/2-1

Dr. Peter Larkin came to UBC campus in 1948 as British Columbia’s first Chief Fisheries Biologist, with a joint appointment in the Department of Ecology, where he established courses on ecology and population dynamics. Except for a four-year appointment as Director of the Government of Canada’s Pacific Biological Station (1963-1966), Dr. Larkin spent the remainder of his career at UBC, eventually becoming head of Zoology, Dean of Graduate Studies, and Vice-President, Research.

In 1952, Dr. Larkin established the BC Fisheries Research Section (a provincial division that became part of the Fisheries Centre) on the UBC campus. The co-location was an innovative liaison between research and management in an academic environment. In 1955, he founded the Institute of Fisheries in the Department of Zoology. He remained a member of the Institute, which later became the IARE, until his retirement in 1989.

After retirement, Dr. Larkin remained active at UBC heading a Royal Society of Canada evaluation unit. He was instrumental in establishing the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium, which is administered by the Marine Mammal Research Unit in the Fisheries Centre.

Dr. Larkin served on the boards or councils of many prestigious national and international institutions. He received numerous honorary degrees and special awards, including the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia, the UBC Science Council Award for Career Achievement, and the Murray A. Newman Award for Conservation. He died in 1996.

The Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries hosts the annual Larkin Lecture and has named the Larkin Room in his honour. The room includes a collection of artwork and memorabilia. The Canadian Aquatic Resources Section of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) has established the Peter A. Larkin Memorial Fund to provide support for students to attend annual AFS meetings.

Full obituary: Northcote, T.D. (1996) Obituary of Peter Anthony Larkin. Rev. Fish Biol. Fish. 6: 374-377