Calling him a “wonderful person, inspiring scientific leader, and incomparable mentor for many young scientists,” Carl Walters, professor emeritus in the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, mourned the passing of C.S. “Buzz” Holling on August 16, 2019. Recognized as one of the world’s leading ecologists, having made major contributions to the theory of predation, the concept of ecological resilience, the concept of panarchy, and adaptive management, he received numerous awards, including the Mercer and Eminent Ecologist awards from the Ecological Society of America, the Volvo Environment Prize, and honorary doctorates from Guelph, Simon Fraser, and UBC. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and had received the Order of Canada. Holling was born in 1930 and obtained his PhD from UBC.
He worked as a research scientist in the Canadian Forest Service before returning to UBC, this time as a professor. He was the first director of the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology (now Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries), which is where, as a junior faculty member, Dr. Walters was his colleague. Eric Charnov, Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Utah, was one of Holling’s postdoctoral fellows, and concurs with Walters’ assessment. “He was wonderfully supportive and fun to talk with, particularly when we disagreed, which was often,” said Dr. Charnov. “Buzz trained many distinguished scholars, which reflects very much on his mentorship, as noted by Carl. I am proud to have been among them.” Holling left UBC in the late 1970s to direct the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Vienna, Austria), returned briefly in the early 1980s, before moving to the University of Florida. After retirement he lived for several years in Cedar Key, Florida, then returned to Nanaimo, BC, for the last years of his life.