Brian Holl

Brian Holl

Professor Emeritus, Plant Science

Brian Holl was born in Winnipeg , Manitoba in 1944. After studies at the University of Manitoba , he received a BSc (Agriculture) with honours in plant breeding in 1966 and, following graduate studies in medical biochemistry, received an MSc in 1968. From there he went to Cambridge University , UK , for doctoral studies in fungal genetics and earned his doctorate in 1971.

Dr Holl was actively involved in curriculum development. He was a major participant in the development of the UBC Turfgrass Certificate program, and in the development of distance education versions of a number of Faculty courses. He was Chair of the Curriculum Implementation Committee, a group that provided oversight for the new curriculum framework and its passage through the UBC Senate. He was also actively involved in the introduction and development of the Problem Based Learning delivery strategies in Agricultural Sciences. In 1997/98 he was a co-recipient of the Faculty Killam teaching prize.

On his return to Canada following his doctorate, Dr Holl joined the staff at the National Research Council Prairie Regional Laboratory, (now NRC Plant Biotechnology Lab) Saskatoon . His research there was on symbiotic nitrogen fixation in field peas, and genetic information transfer in plants. He joined the UBC Department of Plant Science as an Associate Professor in 1978 and was promoted to full Professor in 1994. As a plant scientist he taught courses on Plant Breeding & Biotechnology, Genetics, Forage and Field Crops Agronomy, Turfgrass Management, Herbicide Biochemistry and Physiology, Agroforestry, Sustainable Agriculture, and Biology (in the Faculty of Science) at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His research centered on nitrogen fixation in low-nitrogen systems, especially relevant to BC rangelands where economics make fertilizer applications impractical. In addition he conducted research on soil microbes in forested and managed ecosystems, as well as nutrient and rhizosphere management of amended sand golf greens.

Throughout his career at UBC, Dr Holl has participated in a variety of professional associations including the BC Institute of Agrologists, the Canadian Consulting Agrologists Association, the Canadian Seed Growers Stock Seed Committee, BC Forage Council, Western Canada Turfgrass Association, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the Sports Turf Managers Association. He is currently the Chair of the BC Cultivar Evaluation Committee on Forage Crops.

Dr Holl took early retirement from UBC in 2000. He has continued to maintain an interest in the Faculty through involvement in the Turfgrass Certificate and in the contract position of Director of Strategic Planning at the UBC Botanical Gardens until 2002. He and his wife Ruth work as consultants to the turfgrass industry and Dr Holl is also a special advisor to the Vice President Learning and Provost of Kwantlen University College.

R Blair and C R Nichols, 2003