Horn Point Laboratory

Michael Kemp Student Fund

Michael Kemp Student Fund for the Horn Point Laboratory

Michael Kemp, a valuable member of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's faculty for over four decades, passed away recently after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease. Michael began his career at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory as a Postdoc in 1977 and moved to the Horn Point Laboratory in 1978 to join the faculty as an Assistant Professor. Michael retired in 2017 and was appointed an Emeritus Professor before moving to Charleston, S.C.

Over his long and distinguished career at UMCES, Michael participated in many interdisciplinary studies focused on the ecology of Chesapeake Bay. Michael was an ecosystem ecologist and thus his research covered a multitude of topics ranging from submerged aquatic vegetation and benthic productivity to nutrient cycles, primary productivity and numerical ecosystem models. Michael’s paper “Eutrophication of Chesapeake Bay: Historical trends and ecological interactions” is an excellent synthesis for anyone interested in Chesapeake Bay and the impacts of humans on estuaries. Many of these research projects were collaborations between Michael and Walter Boynton, a long-term colleague and friend since they were in graduate school together at the University of Florida. Their research accomplishments together were honored by a joint award (first time awarded to 2 people), the “Odum Award for Lifetime Achievement,” by the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. 

Longtime friends and colleagues Walter Boynton and Michael Kemp were co-recipients of the Odum Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation.

One of Michael’s great joys of working at UMCES was his mentoring and interactions with students. Michael advised 24 graduate students and many undergraduate summer interns. Michael’s door was open to all students and he took interest in learning about the research projects of all Horn Point Laboratory graduate students. As a legacy to Michael’s many contributions to graduate students, his family has created a fund.

Michael enthusiastically engaged with the UMCES community through collaborations, lively discussions and social activities. We are most grateful to Michael for his scholarship, mentoring and community engagement. His many contributions were important for HPL’s growth, recognition, collegial atmosphere and supportive spirit.   

Our thoughts and well wishes go to Michael’s wife Laura Murray, also a valued member of the Horn Point faculty, and to his son Cullen.

To remember and honor Michael his family has established the Michael Kemp Student Fund for the Horn Point Laboratory. 

You may donate online or with a check made to: USM Foundation, note - Michael Kemp Student Fund, and mailed to: UMCES-Horn Point Lab, PO Box 775, Cambridge, MD 21613.

Michael with his family on Horn Point Lab's campus. Left to right: daughter-in-law Marissa, wife Laura Murray, Michael, and son Cullen.