Dr. Fred T. Mackenzie, In Memoriam

Fred MacKenzie

With sadness, the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences has received news of the passing of Life Trustee, Dr. Fred T. Mackenzie.

Dr. Mackenzie joined BIOS in the 1960’s, assuming the roles of Staff Geochemist and Assistant Director when it operated under the name Bermuda Biological Station for Research (BBSR). Also affiliated with Northwestern University and later the University of Hawai‘i, Dr. Mackenzie made notable contributions during his tenure at BBSR, particularly in the ’60s and ’70s. His research encompassed works such as Hydrostation S, the longest continuously occupied ocean time series in the world and “Homotrema rubrum (Lamarck), a sediment transport indicator.” Mackenzie went on to serve as a BBSR trustee from 1964 to 1972 and again from 1989 until he stepped down in 1996 and was elected as a Life Trustee.

Jim Galloway, who assumed the role of a BIOS trustee in 1983, fondly recalls his initial encounter with Fred in the early 1980s at BIOS. “Throughout the years, Fred’s impact extended beyond BIOS, he authored textbooks that served as valuable resources in my classes for over 30 years. Additionally, Fred played a pivotal role in the project developing a Nitrogen footprint for Hawai‘i (and Bermuda!) and he was always a source of inspiration as he went from mountain top to mountain top of accomplishments.  He was an inspiration to all he worked with.  And he had a wicked sense of humor!”

Professor Nicholas Bates, Senior Scientist and Director of Research shared, “I first knew Fred when I came back in 1990 to do a summer course with Fred, Jim Galloway and Doug Whelpdale at BIOS (then BBSR) with the title Global Environmental Change. Fred was an amazing man, scientist and enthusiast for life. I had the choice of going to Hawaii as a PhD student with him or stay in Bermuda to do my PhD which I did due to having family on the island. But nonetheless Fred remained an important mentor during my thesis work. And he continued in that role for many years. He was the best example to me of how to be a wonderful mentor, scientist and person, and I am truly thankful he was so instrumental in my career and life. ”

His former student, Dr. Andreas Andersson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography recalled, “Fred Mackenzie had an enormous impact on both my professional and private life. He was my mentor, friend, and role model in all aspects of life. As my PhD advisor he guided me through the ups and downs of graduate school and the fascinating worlds of carbonate geochemistry and global environmental change. As a friend he always listened and offered support to small and big life problems alike. He often told me: “Don’t forget to smell the roses” and showed me how to be an excellent scientist, mentor, and teacher while also enjoying life and adventures outside of work. Fred cared deeply about his students and anyone who was interested to learn from him. He was the most generous and kindest person I have ever known. He will be greatly missed.”

The staff and board extend its sincerest condolences to Fred’s family and friends.