Richard J. Beamish has a PhD in Zoology from the University of Toronto. He has worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg and at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, British Columbia where he served as director from 1980 to 1993. He has served as a commissioner and board member with number of research organizations such as the boards and his many international awards include sharing the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 as a member of the International Panel on Climate Change. He received the Order of Canada in 1999 and the Order of British Columbia in 2004. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Vancouver Island University. He retired officially in 2011, though he maintains an office and remains unofficially on the job.