In Memoriam: S. Kim Juniper


S. Kim Juniper

We are saddened to share the passing of S. Kim Juniper on June 7, 2024, after an 18-month battle with brain cancer. Our thoughts are with his wife Laurence Patris, son Glenn and daughter Fiona.

Prior to his retirement in June 2023, Kim was a professor in the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences and the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria, the British Columbia leadership chair in ocean ecosystems and global change and chief scientist for Ocean Networks Canada (ONC).

Kim was a world-renowned scientist who had an enormous impact on ocean science in Canada and around the world. His interest in the ecology of marine microbes took his lab in many directions over the course of his career, from studying the New Zealand intertidal mudflats, to exploring the depths of the deep sea, discovering new and strange lifeforms living amongst the hydrothermal vents, to forays into cold seep, sea ice, fjord and seabed sediment ecosystems. He authored more than 130 peer-reviewed publications.

Kim was not just a research scientist, but also contributed in scientific leadership and advisory roles to national and international initiatives including, most recently, the Canadian Healthy Oceans research network (CHONe), the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), OceanObs’19 and OceanObs Next, the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), and the European Marine water Column and Seafloor Observatory (EMSO-ERIC). He served as an advisor to the International Seabed Authority during the development of regulations for the exploration and extraction of seabed mineral resources in areas beyond national jurisdictions.

Kim has played a strong leadership role in a number of Canadian marine research networks including the Canadian mid-ocean ridge research network (CanRidge; 1993–1996), Canada’s contribution to the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS; 1995–1999), the NEPTUNE Canada cabled observatory network (2000–2011), the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (2008–2024), and Ocean Networks Canada (2011–2024). At the international level, he has contributed to understanding the environmental impact of future deep-sea mining, and current discussions about the sustainable use of the genetic resources of the deep sea.

For nine years (2014–2023), Kim served as Ocean Network Canada’s chief scientist and was a driving force behind the transformation of ocean science. Kim was one of the leading contributors to the original design of the NEPTUNE underwater cabled observatory, and helped build an expert science team that is advancing ocean observing through research partnerships within Canada and around the world. Under his leadership, scientific monitoring has expanded in step with the expansion of ONC’s observatories on the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic coasts of Canada. Most recently, he was instrumental in establishing the linkages with Spanish partners that led to the January 2024 launch of ONC’s Antarctic Ocean observatory.

Kim changed the way we view and approach ocean science. Comprehensive ocean monitoring involves multiple perspectives as well as scientific measurements, and under his leadership ONC built programs that continue to bring the arts into the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) sector — changing STEM to STEAM. Kim also played a key national and international role in advancing respectful Indigenous partnerships which use “two-eyed seeing” to bring together Indigenous knowledge systems and ocean science.

Kim was a mentor to countless students and colleagues, a friend, and an inspirational leader whose vision has changed the way the scientific community approaches ocean science. Kim’s legacy will be proudly carried forward by his colleagues.

A Celebration of Life will be held on July 20, 2024. To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store. Condolence messages may be shared online.

The university flag will be lowered in Kim’s memory on July 20, 2024.


With files from Ocean Networks Canada


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