Lalit M. Srivastava

1932 - 2012


After a lengthy and difficult illness endured with great courage, Dr. Lalit M. Srivastava, Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University, passed away on 14 March 2012 in Lions Gate Hospital, North Vancouver.

Lalit was born in Gonda, India on 7 September 1932. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of California at Davis (1962) studying with Professor Katherine Esau, a distinguished plant anatomist, and undertook post-doctoral work at Harvard University (1962-5) with Professor Irving Widmore Bailey. When invited to teach at the newly founded SFU, he joined the Department of Biology as a charter member in 1965, developing courses in plant development, physiology and biochemistry. He held various administrative positions at SFU including Associate Dean of Science (1969), Acting Vice-President Academic (1969-70), and Chair of Biology (1985-90). He also served as Chairman of the Board at Capilano College, helping to develop it into a university. He also took a keen interest in the Liberal Party.

After his retirement in 1998, Lalit consolidated his knowledge in a major book “Plant growth and development: hormones and environment” (2001) published by Academic Press. It is remarkable not only by the breadth of information it presents on almost 800 pages but also by the fact that it is the work of a single author, rather than by a number of specialists. He also translated “Karmabhumi” (2006) an Indian novel of social protest inspired by Ghandi and published it with Oxford University Press.

Warm-hearted and full of life, Lalit is greatly missed by his family and many friends. He is survived by his wife Sandra Djwa (Professor Emerita of English at SFU) his former wife Jane Srivastava, and children: Sanjay, Sonia (Aaron Roxburgh) and stepson Phillip Djwa, as well as four grandchildren: Owen and Adam Roxburgh, and Emma and Lucy Djwa.