In Memoriam

Dr. Will Hintz

Professor Will Hintz passed away November 27th, 2022 after a brief illness. We are shocked at this sad and sudden news. Will was in the midst of planning his teaching for next spring and had just submitted a proposal for an NSERC Discovery grant. He was very much looking forward to many more years of activity.

Will came to UVic as an Assistant Professor in 1993 after a PhD and postdoc at the University of Toronto, and a research position with Allelix Biopharmaceuticals. Will joined the Department of Biology and a few years later became part of the Graduate Centre for Forest Biology. He served as Department Chair for six years, from 2004 to 2010.

Will was a productive and inventive researcher. His special expertise was Dutch elm disease but he was interested in the molecular genetics of all fungal diseases. He worked on tree seed pathogens, fish pathogens, and the planet’s great frog die-off, which resulted in a paper in Science. Will published widely with collaborators from many countries. More locally, he developed and patented a fungal biocontrol treatment for weedy deciduous trees. Will loved teaching students how to do scientific experiments, and trained many undergraduate and graduate students over the years.

Will was a quiet man who was dedicated to his family. He was an artistic and sophisticated photographer. Sadly, Will suffered a freak accident in 2016 that left him almost fully paralysed, but he was heroic in his determination to continue as a loving husband and father, and as a creative scientist and teacher. For Will, COVID was an extraordinary opportunity that provided him the opportunity to teach online – and he loved it! He also stayed involved with his lab and continued to plan new research projects.

Will was a remarkable man who met the most challenging circumstances with grace, courage and fortitude. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.