In Memoriam: Dr. Jane Bowles | Carolinian Canada

In Memoriam: Dr. Jane Bowles


Photo: Don Gordon

Cover Photo by Jennifer McPhee

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Jane Bowles on July 27th. Jane was an accomplished biologist, passionate advocate for the Carolinian Zone, dedicated volunteer, valued mentor and friend.

In addition to her work as a much-loved professor at Western University and Director of the Sherwood Fox Arboretum, Jane was one of southwestern Ontario’s most respected freelance ecologists.  Jane was an active participant in the Carolinian Canada’s Science Advisory Committee, and was a member of the ecology team for three of our conservation action plans.  She authored several recovery strategies for Carolinian species and ecosystems at risk, and helped develop the Carolinian Woodlands Recovery Strategy.  In addition to the countless volunteer and professional hours Jane devoted to restoring the health of our ecosystems, she recently made a generous financial donation to CC.

“I first met Jane on a Carolinian Canada project in 1985 and she inspired me to see this region as something special” recalled Michelle Kanter, Carolinian Canada's Executive Director. “Since then I’ve known her to be a dedicated local ecologist with great passion, vision and persistence.  She raised the bar for natural systems protection in Carolinian Canada and beyond.”

“Jane was a dear friend, and one of my very favourite people.  When Jane was involved, we would cut straight to the important business because she had little patience for prevarication.  But Jane always had a twinkle in her eye, and a delightful sense of humour.  The world needs more, wise, honest, straight-talking, committed, passionate ‘free spirits’ like Jane,” said CC’s Director of Ecosystem Recovery, Jarmo Jalava, referring to the fact that Jane would always state her affiliation as ‘free spirit’ at meetings.

Jane was also a mentor to many young ecologists across the zone, including Conservation Biologist Daria Koscinski. “She always made time to help aspiring ecologists, whether it was advice for restoration projects or learning to identify the diversity of plants in the Carolinian Zone. Her enthusiasm was contagious and inspired me to learn more.”

Jane was recognized for her dedication to the protection of nature in the Carolinian Zone with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carolinian Canada in May 2013. She will be sorely missed across the zone but her legacy can be found in our dunes, meadows, prairies, forests and wetlands and in the stewardship actions of many.

Donations in Jane’s memory can be made to the Thames Talbot Land Trust.

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