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Alan Austin was a faculty member of the Biology Department at the University of Victoria from 1964-1997. He was a phycologist - a specialist in marine and freshwater algal vegetation. Austin was involved in two major research projects: Victoria Phenology Project, 1964-1986, and the Seaweed Inventory Project (SIP), 1969-1978. The SIP launched a substantial, and very rare, pre-utilisation survey of the seaweed along BC coastal waters, and produced detailed vegetation maps previously unavailable. A major proportion of the day to day research was conducted by Robert Adams, Austin's research assistant and colleague. The data from the SIP was used by the BC Commercial Fisheries Branch (later the Ministry of Environment) to assess the feasibility of commercially harvesting British Columbia's rich marine resources. Alan Austin died in Victoria, BC on September 29, 2009.