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Frank McLaren
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:26 pm


Unread post by Frank McLaren »

Sadly, I must inform you of the death of our friend, Andy Brierley and our condolences are sent to his family and friends.

For those wishing to pay their final respects, Andy's funeral service is to be on 14 March 2024 at 9.30am in St Salvator's Chapel, St Andrews.

In a poignant message, Kirsti has asked, "For people to please not send cards or flowers. Instead, please do what Andy did best, and go out there and make magnificent memories."

Frank McLaren
Frank McLaren
Posts: 562
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:26 pm


Unread post by Frank McLaren »

With the kind permission of Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, the following is her intimation to the University.

Dear Colleagues and Students,

It is with much sadness that I write to inform you of the death of our much-loved colleague and friend Professor Andrew (Andy) Brierley from the School of Biology’s Scottish Oceans Institute. Andy died on Monday 19 February following diagnosis with a brain tumour in November last year; he was 56 years old.

Educated at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, where he studied Marine Biology and Biochemistry, Andy completed his PhD at the University of Liverpool in 1991. For the duration of his PhD, he was based at Port Erin Marine Lab on the Isle of Man.

An active, distinguished scientist, Andy’s research included krill biology, bioacoustics, systems level ecology, as well as fisheries, food security and human health. His career at St Andrews began in 2001 as a Lecturer in the School of Biology; he was promoted to Reader in 2004 and to Professor in 2008. He led the Pelagic Ecology Research Group (PERG) at the Scottish Oceans Institute and was Director of Research for the School of Biology from 2021.

Andy’s research took him all over the world, he was a Visiting Scholar with the Australian National Network in Marine Sciences where he spent time working at James Cook University, University of Western Australia, and the University of Tasmania. Andy led research cruises in the Antarctic and sub-Arctic with the British Antarctic Survey in his role as Senior Scientific Officer, and, early in his career, he was a Volunteer Research Assistant in Bolivia.

Andy aligned his enthusiasm and passion for his research with a genuine desire to make a difference in people’s lives and to the communities impacted by global challenges. His cutting-edge, collaborative research on fisheries and human health with local scientists around Lake Victoria pays remarkable tribute to this.

Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in recognition of his research in the Galapagos, Andy was also a recipient of the Laws Prize, awarded annually to the outstanding young British Antarctic Survey scientist. He was a Member of the Society for Experimental Biology, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and a member of the Royal Society’s UK National Committee for Antarctic Research. A former Research Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, Andy was awarded Life Membership of Clare Hall in 2001.

The outpouring of kind words from people from across our community sharing their memories of Andy as a friend, colleague and mentor is a testament to how many lives he touched:

“Andy was a force of nature, a whirlwind of ideas, plans, and experiments. I always found myself unable to refuse; his enthusiasm for life, travel and science was infectious.”

“Andy was inspirational in showing that enthusiasm and a relatively tiny bit of funding can make an enormous difference to the lives of the people around the lake. He's irreplaceable and will be sorely missed.”

“He was someone who had very high standards and was not afraid to tell you, but that is what I admired about him. He had a very strong sense of what was right or wrong, and boy did he care.”

“He was a team player with a sharp and brilliant sense of humour, and always the first to laugh at himself. This year's fieldwork, among many other things, will not be the same without him. He will be sorely missed.”

There have been memories shared of road trips in Uganda for research that would make an excellent episode of Top Gear. The theme throughout is memories of someone who would go the extra mile to support not only his colleagues and students within the School of Biology but also the wider St Andrews community and far beyond.

These are only a small snapshot of the memories of Andy that barely do him justice; however, in time, it is hoped that there will be an opportunity for everyone who knew Andy to share their memories in a book of condolence.

Andy was a passionate athlete and adventurer at heart, as demonstrated by his love of triathlon, running, and cycling. He qualified for, and competed in, the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii five times and he achieved a marathon PB of 2 hours 42 minutes in Florence in 2011. His adventurous side also saw him take part in deep water diving, paragliding, skiing, hiking, and mountaineering.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Andy’s family - his partner Kirsti and daughters Abigail and Laura, his brother John and mother Margaret. Andy will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him, his friends in St Andrews and beyond.

Andy's funeral will be held at 9.30am at St Salvator’s Chapel, St Andrews, on Thursday 14 March. The wake will be held immediately afterwards in Upper and Lower College Halls.

Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE
Principal and Vice-Chancellor
Graham Bennison
Posts: 2679
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 12:17 pm


Unread post by Graham Bennison »

Unfortunately I'm still in Western Australia and therefore unable to attend. Will be thinking of Andy today. He was a great help to me at the Strathkinness Primary School Running club for a number of years.
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