Maxwell John Dunbar

  • Erik L.B. Smidt
Keywords: Climate change, Oceanography, Plankton, Science, Canadian Arctic waters, Nuup Kangerlua region, Greenland, North Atlantic Ocean, Vestgrønland waters


At the Annual Festival of the University of Copenhagen on 21 November 1991, the Canadian biologist and oceanographer Maxwell John Dunbar, professor at McGill University, Montreal, was awarded an honorary doctorate of science. He was accorded this mark of honour on the grounds of both his extensive work in arctic marine biology and his long-term association with Greenland and Denmark. ... Dunbar's scientific activities have been extensive and far reaching. Certain selected areas of his research are highlighted below. His earliest research was in zoology, involving different zooplanktonic groups, especially those Crustacean groups of importance in the food chain. He soon moved into ecological-hydrographic studies, investigating the so-called "brown zone" at the face of a glacier in the Disko Bay region of West Greenland in 1936. When glaciers extend into deep water, the surface water flowing away from the glacier face can be replaced by upwelling water coloured brown by mud from the bottom and in which there is a large plankton population that attracts seabirds in search of food. There followed extensive oceanographic and biogeographic studies, resulting in a monograph, Eastern Arctic Waters (1951), in which the physical oceanographic conditions in the Eastern Canadian Arctic and West Greenland regions are described. ...
Arctic Profiles