Len Dyck

Patrick Martone statement on Dr. Leonard Dyck 

I was lucky to have known Len Dyck.

Len was a cherished lecturer in UBC’s Department of Botany. When you first met Len, he had a somewhat gruff exterior, but students soon realized he was a knowledgeable, trusted teacher and scholar who loved sharing his enthusiasm and curiosity and showing them how to uncover hidden gems in the natural world.

Len completed a Bachelors’ of Science degree in Marine Biology in 1978, then a Masters’ of Science in Botany in 1991 and finally completed his PhD in Botany in 2004. All of his studies were at UBC and he began working for the university as a sessional lecturer in 2003.

He emulated and worked with many preeminent scholars in his field and helped the department carry their legacy into the future. His behind-the-scenes efforts in the department, his field collections and his work with students in the classroom make him truly irreplaceable. He had an amazing depth of knowledge, and a way of opening students’ eyes to the diversity of life that we study. His passion for learning about bizarre and beautiful organisms that few people ever get to see, inspired our students to feel that same passion and awe.

Mostly, I will miss Len’s laugh, which often followed some wry comment. It makes me tear up thinking that I won’t get to hear it again. He held his cards close to his chest, but as soon as you realized how much passion he had for his work, he was so much fun and a joy to be around. It was obvious that he was doing what he loved. He was a really special man.

All of those who knew Len are deeply and profoundly saddened by his passing. As we mourn his loss, we respectfully ask media to allow us the space to grieve in private.

Patrick Martone
Professor, UBC Department of Botany

BIOL320 field trip, March 2017

Clover Point, Victoria, BC

Len is showing the difference between two brown seaweeds: Desmarestia aculeata and Desmarestia viridis (picture and information courtesy of Patrick Martone). ​