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John Michael (Mike) Marlborough (1940–2015)

Marlborough was known for his work on the theory and modelling of hot stars and their winds and envelopes, as well as hot-star spectra, variability, and magnetic fields as studied in the UV, optical, and IR.

Published onOct 04, 2022
John Michael (Mike) Marlborough (1940–2015)

Photo credit: Canadian Astronomical Society.

John Michael (Mike) Marlborough, an astronomer at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) passed away on Saturday, March 21, 2015. He was 74.

John Michael (Mike) Marlborough graduated from St. Michael’s College High School (Toronto) and obtained a B.Sc. in Astronomy from the University of Toronto in 1962, and an M.A. in Astronomy in 1963, working with Donald Fernie. This resulted in several publications on photoelectric photometry. He then completed a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago in 1967, working with Nelson Limber.

In 1967, he accepted a position at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University). He was quickly promoted and tenured, in 1970, and retired as Professor Emeritus in 2005, after a 38-year career. His research dealt with the theory and modelling of hot stars and their winds and envelopes, as well as hot-star spectra, variability, and magnetic fields as studied in the UV, optical, and IR. He supervised eight M.Sc. students, six Ph.D. students, and a post-doc. Throughout his career, he published about a hundred papers, and gave numerous lectures, both at home and internationally. He spent research years at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in 1973–74, at the University of Sussex in 1980–81, at the University of Utrecht in 1987–88, and in a Distinguished Research Professorship at Western in 1990–91. He thoroughly enjoyed teaching, both introductory astronomy and a variety of more advanced courses. At his funeral, he was described as wise, generous, humble, patient, gentle, and open.

He also served on numerous professional committees, both in Canada and abroad. He was a regular attendee at Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) meetings, and served CASCA as a councilor from 1982–85, as Second Vice-President from 1986–88, and as chair of the Sub-Committee on Theoretical Astronomy. He was a particularly good citizen at Western, serving on dozens of committees of all types in his department (including as Acting Chair), his faculty, and his university.

Adapted from the original obituary in “Passed CASCA Charter Members” with permission of Dennis Crabtree and the Canadian Astronomical Society.

For more information, see Marlborough’s AstroGen entry and also his Western University obituary.

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