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The Global Plant Council pays tribute to Professor Carl Douglas

The Global Plant Council (GPC) was deeply saddened to hear about the death of our colleague Carl Douglas on Monday, 25th July 2016.

He died in a tragic mountain climbing accident in Canada’s Glacier National Park.

As a representative of the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists, Carl was involved with the Global Plant Council since its inception in 2009, and was an Executive Board Member since 2015.

A Professor of Botany at the University of British Columbia, Carl was a faculty member since 1987. He was a prominent plant molecular biologist with an incredible passion for teaching and learning. Over the years, Carl worked in several areas of plant molecular biology, with contributions in the regulation of plant cell wall biosynthesis, molecular genetics of natural products, and poplar population genomics. He was recently awarded the David J. Gifford Award in Tree Biology from the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists, was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was awarded a Corresponding Membership in the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Professor Bill Davies, the GPC’s President said:
“I am relatively new to the GPC and get to know Carl only in the last year. I greatly valued his thoughtful approach to some difficult matters, and valued the support that he offered. We will all remember warmly Carl’s friendship and good humor, and his support for the global plant community.”

GPC Chair Professor Barry Pogson said:
“I had got to know Carl over the past seven years via the GPC. To me, he was a scientist who was simultaneously passionate and calm, and who showed wisdom in all he said and did. He was both restrained and did not dominate a conversation, but when he spoke it was with thought and strength of argument that meant we all waited for and valued his contributions.”

GPC Vice-Chair Ariel Orellana said:
“I am shocked to hear about Carl’s death. I got to know him within the plant cell wall community, and only a month ago we were at a cell wall meeting in Crete talking about some ideas for the GPC. My deepest condolences to Carl’s family, friends, and colleagues.”

Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston, the GPC’s Treasurer said:
“I am so sad. Carl was such a lovely person with great enthusiasm for the aims of the GPC. I did not know him as a scientist, but I am sure he showed the same friendly and enthusiastic support to all who worked with him.”

Ruth Bastow, the GPC’s Executive Director said:
“I am so sorry to receive this terribly sad news. Carl was a very valued member of the GPC Executive Board where his generous nature and well reasoned deliberations were always greatly appreciated. He will be missed.”

The whole GPC team echoes these sentiments – our thoughts are with Carl’s wife Lorraine, his daughter Jennifer, and all his family, friends and colleagues at this very sad and difficult time.


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