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Saturday December 22, 2012

Dr. Laurie Lynn CONSAUL
It is with great sorrow and sadness that Laurie passed away on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 in Kemptville, Ontario. Her loving partner Mark Lawson Armstrong and her sister, Lisa Ann Consaul will forever miss her. Laurie was predeceased by her father Arthur Marshall in 2001 and her mother, Noma Geraldine in 2005.
Laurie was born in 1960 in Fort William, Ontario and moved to Kapuskasing, Ontario in 1964. In 1971 Laurie left northern Ontario and lived in Alliston, Ontario where she graduated from Banting Memorial High School as an Ontario Scholar in 1979. Laurie left Alliston to begin her studies at The University of Western Ontario in London where she also enjoyed her work at the Sherwood Fox Arboretum. In 1983 Laurie graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree with an Honours in Plant Sciences. Laurie continued her studies at the University of Ottawa towards a Master's degree in Botany which she successfully completed in 1988.
In 1990, Laurie began putting her education to practice while working at the Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) as a botanist. She enjoyed the challenges of her research and consulting assignments and had many opportunities for field research in the Canadian Arctic. In 2003 Laurie was accepted by McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in the Ph.D. botany program. As part of her studies there, she worked in Labrador doing work related to land regeneration for a major mining company. Laurie proudly convocated with her Doctorem Philosophiae in Botany in June, 2008.
Laurie returned to the CMN to work principally on Arctic flora and apply her knowledge gained while at McGill. Laurie continued her summer research studies in the Canadian Arctic and met many friends there. She was credited with discovering a new species of alkali grass and always looked forward to her next research season. Over the years, Laurie has written many scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Laurie had a love of nature that extended outside of work. For her, being outside seeing and listening to all nature had to offer gave her particular enjoyment. She was an avid bird watcher for many years and was a member of the Ottawa Field Naturalists. She eagerly participated in two Ontario Bird Breeding Atlases (1981-1985 and 2001-2005) as a co-coordinator and observer. She led various field-trips and enjoyed joining bio-blitz and birdathon teams when she could.
Laurie also loved to travel for pleasure. Somehow, she always packed a plant press, field guides and a listing of botanists to visit. Laurie visited England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, Cuba, Venezuela, Australia and New Zealand. She also enjoyed touring the back roads of our beautiful country collecting plants as she went.
Laurie enjoyed music and was becoming an accomplished acoustic guitarist. She participated in the Kemptville Christmas music concerts for three years. She was a dedicated student who practiced at home where the sound of her voice and guitar was enjoyed. She also liked kayaking, bicycling, hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, photography, reading and star gazing.
Laurie was an active member of Toastmasters International joining a club while doing her McGill studies and continuing in Kemptville. She obtained her Silver Competent Communicator Award in 2010 and always was eager to attend the next club meeting. She was a member of Sigma Xi for almost ten years and belonged to the Canadian Botanical Association. She was a member of the executive committee in 2010-2011.
Laurie's enthusiasm for life was evident in everything she undertook. She was a very courageous and wonderful woman who experienced life to the fullest. Laurie will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
A memorial service to celebrate Laurie's life will be held in Ottawa in the new year. Notice of the date and time will be available in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper in March or April, 2013. This information will also be available on the site which has followed Laurie's illness that began in July 2011.
Thanks go to the doctors and staff at the Ottawa Civic, General and the Kemptville District Hospital who treated and cared for Laurie. The Canadian Red Cross personal support workers and staff and volunteers from the Beth Donovan Hospice helped to improve Laurie's quality of life over the last year. Her friends and colleagues around the world who have joined in Laurie's hope for recovery in various ways gave us heartfelt support as well.

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