Geoffrey Power

Geoffrey Power

1933 - 2024

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Obituary of Geoffrey Power

Geoffrey passed away on Monday, April 29, 2024. He is survived by his wife, Ann Hervey Power,  sons Michael (Deborah), Ian (Colette), grandchildren Geoff, Graham, and Amanda, and his sister Alison Sweetman (Gerald) in England.

Geoffrey was born in Accrington, UK, and grew up in Lancashire. He received a BSc from the University of Durham (Kings College Newcastle) in 1954. That same year, he came to Canada on a scholarship from the Arctic Institute of North America, to study for a PhD  in Biology at McGill University, Montreal.

In 1957, he was the first biologist hired by Waterloo College and Associate Faculties, which became the University of Waterloo. In the formative years at Waterloo, he was very involved in setting the curriculum for the Biology Department, as well as advising on the design of the first Biology building and labs. He served four years as interim chair of the Biology Department but eschewed administration, preferring to be a hands-on fisheries biologist. In this role, he gained  international recognition. He conducted research from as far south as New Zealand to as far north as northern Norway and Sweden. Most of his research was in northern Quebec where he was often accompanied in the field by his wife and sons. His last field trip was to Ellesmere Island in 2007 with his son Michael. From 1974 – 78 he was on loan from the University of Waterloo to Laval University where he worked closely with the Centre d'études nordiques. This collaboration continued after his return to Waterloo.                            

Over 46 years of research, Geoffrey made a significant contribution to the science of fishery biology and was widely recognized as an expert in the ecology of northern salmonid fishes, particularly Atlantic salmon and Arctic char. He mentored many graduate students who went on to make their own significant contributions to fishery science. He was named one of the first Fellows of the American Fisheries Society and was awarded their Excellence in Fisheries Education Award. Upon his retirement from Waterloo in 1999, he was named a Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

Besides his scientific work, Geoffrey was known for his painting, for which he won several awards, and for his woodworking and love of gardening. A celebration of Geoffrey’s life will take place at a later date.

Condolences for the family and donations to the Atlantic Salmon Federation, CFUW-KW Charitable Fund (Ann and Geoffrey Power Award) or the Heart and Stroke Foundation may be arranged through Erb and Good Family Funeral Home at or by calling 519-745-8445.