Testimonials for Pioneer Member Ann Oaks

Alex Bewley – While not intimately familiar with Ann’s research, she was a large part of my childhood and influential as a scientific “elder.” Always questioning, comfortable with difficult questions and not one to accept weakly thought out answers.

Robert Keates and Ingrid Boesel – I was not directly associated with Ann Oaks, but my wife, Ingrid Boesel, was her senior technician for a number of years. Ann was somewhat underappreciated by her own university and by granting authorities, but she nevertheless achieved an international reputation, as witnessed by the number of international visitors who passed through her lab

Wataru Mitsuhashi – Ann Oaks conducted research at the frontiers of plant physiology/biochemistry for a large number of years, many of those when female scientists struggled to gain independence and recognition. But she prevailed, and succeeded. To date, Ann Oaks is the only Canadian female scientist who has been nominated as a Pioneer of ASPB.

Sobhana (Shoba) Sivasankar – Dr Ann Oaks was my Ph D supervisor and taught me to think critically and analytically, for which I am forever indebted to her. When I moved from pure agronomy to work on a PhD centered on plant physiology, this was instrumental in molding my education and experimentation. Her signature has carried me through my career in the seed industry and then in international agricultural development.

Bill Wallace – Ann Oaks was a very insightful and critical thinker in plant physiology and biochemistry with a great passion for protecting the natural environment.  I had the privilege to work in Ann’s laboratory in 1968-1970 at Mc Master University and again in 1993 at the University of Guelph. Ann had a great knowledge of plant physiology and biochemistry. She was particularly astute and quick to evaluate the significance of new findings in her laboratory. She passed on her passion for plant science to undergraduate and graduate students, encouraging them in their careers. I admired Ann for building a distinguished career at a time when most university and research positions were male dominated. She had a great love of the natural and indigenous life of Canada and had a passionate concern for the environment and politics.

Chris Wood – Ann was a force of nature, a friend, and an important mentor to me. In my early years as an Assistant Professor at McMaster University, I shared a course with her where I taught the animal physiology part (my area of expertise) and she taught the plant physiology part. I learned all I know about plant physiology from her, to the extent that I was later able to teach it myself.

Tomoyuki Yamaya – She conducted research at the frontiers of plant physiology/biochemistry in Canada.