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Memorable Manitobans: David William “Dave” Schindler (1940-2021)

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David William Schindler
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Limnologist, ecologist, environmental scientist, community activist.

Born at Fargo, North Dakota on 3 August 1940, he received a BSc degree in Zoology from North Dakota State University (1962) and, as a Rhodes scholar, a doctoral degree from Oxford University (1966). After spending two years as a biology professor at Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario), he joined the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, coming to Winnipeg to help in establishing the Experimental Lakes Area, a group of pristine lakes in northwestern Ontario.

Over the course of several decades, he and other scientists conducted experiments to clarify the nature of human impacts on lakes, especially on the role of phosphorus and other chemicals on causing excessive algae growth, and on the effects of acid rain on aquatic ecosystem. In 1989, he accepted a Killam Professorship at the University of Alberta where he remained until retirement in 2013. He co-wrote with John R. Vallentyne the widely influential book The Algal Bowl: Overfertilization of the World's Freshwaters and Estuaries (2008). In his later years, he became active in public environmental advocacy.

His exemplary scientific work was recognized by the inaugural Stockholm Water Prize (1991). He was inducted into the Order of Canada (2003); he received honorary doctorates from the University of Winnipeg (2002) and Queens University (2005); and he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).

He died at Brisco, British Columbia on 4 March 2021.


We thank Peter Siver for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 March 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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