Dave Jones, Killam Research Scholar and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia (UBC), died on 19 November 2010 after a long battle with congenital emphysema. Dave's struggle with emphysema was similar to one of Verdi's operas; it would crescendo from time to time, the raucous laughter would prevail, the wicked pen would correct the smallest grammatical imprecision and then, for a while, it would soften and simmer. He was so irrepressible that we assumed he was, and certainly wished him to be, immortal. Now, after a diminuendo, we are left with fond memories and an amazing legacy.

Dave was born and raised in Bristol, England where he attended Bristol Cathedral School. He did his undergraduate training at the University of Southampton, where he also began his PhD under the supervision of Graham Shelton. After two years there, he followed Graham to the University of East Anglia, where he completed his PhD on ‘The cardiovascular adjustments to submergence in amphibians’ in 1965. He then moved to Bristol University as a Lecturer. After three years at Bristol, he was awarded tenure and promotion. Subsequently, he was recruited to UBC and was appointed in the Zoology Department at UBC in 1969. Dave retired in 2006 but only in the legal sense (mandatory retirement was still in effect) and he continued his research as a fully funded Professor Emeritus, and Killam University Professor.

Over his research career, Dave worked on every class of vertebrate, and a few invertebrates to boot. These studies were as wide ranging as the species he worked on, although the primary emphasis was on diving, exercise and haemodynamics. During his career, Dave trained 17 MSc students, 16 PhD students (two of whom won the Cameron Award of the Canadian Society of Zoologists for the best PhD thesis submitted in their graduating year in Canada) and 16 Post-Doctoral Fellows. With them and other colleagues, he published over 200 research papers and reviews in primary journals, including many in The Journal of Experimental Biology.

Along the way, Dave made major contributions in numerous subdisciplines of our field. He was the first to identify and clearly define the role of nasal receptors, chemoreceptors and baroreceptors in diving responses. Indeed, he was the first to demonstrate the existence of baroreceptors in non-mammalian vertebrates. He was the first to obtain recordings of heart rate and blood pressure during flight in birds. He pioneered the application of wave transmission theory to cardiovascular systems in non-mammalian vertebrates. He had a pioneering role in demonstrating the functions of the central nervous system (cognition) and the endocrine system (particularly the catecholamines) in simulated versus voluntary diving in birds and mammals. Dave was also amongst the first to apply NMR technology and microprocessor-controlled real-time monitoring of physiological variables to diving studies. His most current work was as varied as ever. One series of studies focused on energetics and thermoregulation in giant leatherback turtles, a study that contributed to our understanding of the dramatic population decline of this charismatic species. Another focused on the role of the bulbus arteriosus in blood pressure regulation in all the world's fishes.

As a result of his activities, Dave has received numerous awards and distinctions. Several of note include the Fry Medal of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, the Killam Research Prize, the Flavelle Medal of the Royal Society of Canada, the Scholander Lecture and the August Krogh Lecture of the Comparative Physiology Section of the American Physiological Society, Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada, and the Order of Canada.

Dave was equally well known for his love of the arts, his fascination with cathedrals (during his time as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, he was working on a treatise on the English Cathedral) and for his informal and more erudite side; the side that included his wit and spontaneous one-liners, his intellect and insight. His laughter was unique and contagious and will echo in our minds whenever we think of him. Dave cites his family as his greatest achievement and is survived by his wife Val, daughters Melanie and Vivienne, and grandchildren Rowan, Hailey and Gareth.


I am grateful to Peter Frappell and Dolph Schluter for permission to use some of their more eloquent phrases. A draft version of this Obituary was submitted to various societies for pre-distribution.