Gary M. Lovett, 69, of Clinton Corners, NY, died unexpectedly on December 17 while cross-country skiing in the Catskills with friends. The cause of death is unknown.
Gary was a forest ecologist and Senior Scientist Emeritus at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY where he worked full-time for 35 years. Throughout his career, Gary stretched the boundaries of ecosystem science, advancing understanding of how forests process pollution, cycle nutrients, and respond to pests and pathogens. His research achievements were matched with a passion for bringing science to bear on policy and practice that led him to forge collaborations with nonprofits and industry, chief among them his Tree-SMART Trade campaign.
A deeply valued member of the Cary community, Gary was a leader and collaborator in so many other communities, among them the Hubbard Brook Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) community, the Catskill Environmental Research and Monitoring (CERM) conference, and the Northeastern Ecosystem Research Cooperative.
Colleague Peter Groffman, who succeeded Gary as the lead investigator on the Hubbard Brook LTER Program, notes, “Gary was an internationally recognized forest ecologist who made fundamental contributions to the field, and aggressively worked the interface between science and society. The strength of his contributions to both the content and culture of science was deep and will be missed by many.”
Raised in New York’s Capital Region, Lovett was shaped by summers at Helderberg Lake in a cabin his parents built by hand. He received a BS in Biology from Union College (1975) and a PhD from Dartmouth College in Biology and Plant Ecology (1981). Before being hired at Cary Institute, he was a postgraduate fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1981-83) and a research associate at the University of Tennessee (1983-85).
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 21, in the auditorium at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 2801 Sharon Turnpike, Millbrook, NY. Calling hours are from 11:30am -1:30pm, with a Remembrance Service at 2:00pm. Donations in support of Gary's work on Tree-SMART Trade may be made to Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies or online athttps://www.caryinstitute.org/science/tree-smart-trade.