Peter Hochachka

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Peter Hochachka : biography

March 9, 1937 – September 16, 2002

Peter William Hochachka, (March 9, 1937 – September 16, 2002) was a Canadian professor and zoologist.

Born in Bordenave, Alberta, the son of the very Rev. William and Pearl Hochachka, he obtained his B.Sc. from the University of Alberta in 1959. He received his M.Sc. from Dalhousie University and a Ph.D. from Duke University in 1964.

From 1966 until his retirement in 2002, he taught at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Zoology. Along with George N. Somero, he pioneered the study of biochemical adaptation to the environment and remained a world leader in this field until his death. His work included studies of enzyme adaptation to temperature and pressure, the mechanisms underlying tolerance to low oxygen levels in animals, the bioenergetics of exercise, metabolism during diving in seals, allometric scaling, and human adaptations to high-altitude hypoxia.

He authored articles for nearly 400 publications and wrote or co-wrote seven books. He is the co-author, with George Somero, of Biochemical Adaptation: Mechanism and Process in Physiological Evolution.

Highly honoured,Somero, G.N. 2002. A tribute to Peter William Hochachka, OC, PhD, LLD, FRSC: Killam Professor of Zoology at the University of British Columbia 9 March 1937 to 16 September 2002. Journal of Experimental Biology, 205, 3767–3768. he was in 1993 awarded the Canada Council Killam Memorial Prize in Science and the NSERC Gold Medal for Science and Engineering in 1995. He was awarded the Royal Society of Canada’s Flavelle Medal in 1990. In 1983, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1999, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

He was married to Brenda (née Clayton). They had three children: Claire, Gail and Gareth.

He died of prostate cancer and lymphoma.