Brian Kot 1975-2023
Brian Kot who has been a long-time friend and colleague, was to take over the leadership of the station and its research in 2023, passed away suddenly, shockingly of heart failure on January 15, 2023, at the young age of 48 in Columbus Ohio. Brian first approached MICS to offer his assistance in the hope of following a life-long interest in wildlife of all sorts. He eventually left a well-paid job as a packaging engineer, which he could not see himself doing for an extend part of his life, to study biology in Colorado. During this change over 27yrs Brian made his way to our station, first as an intern, later as a biologist with a PHD and two post docs, whenever he could find time away from his studies to join the station’s work. He was an associate professor of science at Antioch College in Ohio for several years and helped create a biology department. He was fascinated particularly by mammalian anatomy and from a young age brought home all manner of carcasses and skeletons he found in the countryside near his home or elsewhere. His mother stipulated, however, that no insects were allowed in the house. There are certain to be various seal or other skulls and even a harbor porpoise or two burried in unknown spots around the station or team house in Mingan. He has left quite a collection of preserved specimens in jars in the basement of the home he shared with Mary in Columbus, Ohio.
His next step was to take on the challenge of directing the Mingan field station as I neared retirement.
Brian expressed an infectious brand of humor much appreciated by those working with him and was skillful in teaching others how to carry out field work, treat and enter data, repair boats and organize the research station.
His loss is most deeply felt by Mary O’Hara his partner of many years, by his family and many friends from his youth and university, and by all those who shared time with him at the MICS field station. His loss for MICS’ future will be felt for a long while and it will be very difficult to find someone who could carry MICS into the next decades, as well suited as Brian was to this endeavor.