In Memoriam: Professor Trevor Platt

April 9, 2020

After a brief illness, Professor Trevor Platt, Fellow of the Royal Society, has passed away.

Professor Trevor Platt, FRS. Photo courtesy of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Born in Salford, England in 1942, Professor Platt first entered academia six decades ago as an undergraduate at the University of Nottingham in the UK, before going onto study for an MA at the University of Toronto; in 1970 he gained his PhD in biology from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada. He became Head of Biological Oceanography, in 1972, and acting Director in 1976 at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia, where he had been researching phytoplankton ecology. Professor Platt joined Plymouth Marine Laboratory’s team in 2008 as Professorial Fellow, where he split his time between his research and his Directorship of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO).

Phytoplankton was to become the common thread throughout his future research studies, but not exclusively. His output over the decades has been prodigious with more than 320 academic publications to his name, which generated more than 22,000 citations; one paper cited 23 of his publications in its list of references.

Throughout his career Professor Platt’s contributions to oceanography have been recognized in the form of numerous awards, medals and honors. These included the Timothy Parsons medal for excellence in ocean sciences, the APICS-Fraser Gold Medal, the Rosentiel Award, the Huntsman Award, and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography’s highest award – the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award. In Canada, Professor Platt was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and the Canada of Prix de Distinction and the Prix d’Excellence from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He was recognized in 2014 with the award of the Jawaharial Nehru Science fellowship, to work ‘on the ground’ in India.

He served as the visiting Professor at some of the world’s leading institutions including: the Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile; State University of New York; European Institute for Advanced Studies in Oceanography, Mallorca; and the National Institute of Oceanography, Cochin.

He was a firm believer in sharing his knowledge, nurturing the next generation of scientists and above all providing encouragement and guidance to countless young researchers. Many of them will have seen Professor Platt as on a pedestal, someone to be admired a true role model, but he was always ready to share his experience and debate opinions, in a quiet, considered, sometimes provocative, whilst always supportive tone.

Adapted from an announcement posted by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Read Professor Platt’s full obituary here.

Share This Page With Your Peers!