Kimberly was a fearless person, full of life, adventurous and strong. I was lucky enough to have her as my PhD supervisor, together with Gary Kendrick at the University of Western Australia. Together, they were remarkably kind mentors for one such as myself, seeking my footing in academia in a foreign country.
For my friends who met her during our field trips to Pulau Tinggi, it is with great sadness to let you know that Kimberly passed away on 21st January 2019. I have photos of her on my laptop that I have been gazing at in the past few days. I have strong memories of her. Happy ones; funny ones.
She was a trooper during my field trips to Pulau Tinggi. Even when covered in sandfly and bedbug bites out in our little village homestay, she never complained. She’d just snuggle down deeper into her hammock with her book, while scratching furiously.
The island enchanted her and she threw herself completely into our work there; dragging the towed camera for hours each day, and knocking in my seagrass burial pots that she insisted had to be as randomly placed as possible, in as much as how true randomness was ever even possible (don't get her started about random number generators!). She helped us set up those crazy networks of 3 m x 3 m quadrats, counted seagrass shoots every evening, and stuck in a load of sediment plates in the meadow.
Kimberly was a relentless scholar, always thinking about the next paper, next project, next big eureka moment. During a field trip in Moreton Bay in 2011, she’d curl up in bed every night with her headlamp on, writing and revising manuscripts while I unabashedly crawled into bed and into oblivion.
Back at UWA, she’d frequently amble into Renae Hovey’s office - also my hang-out spot - with a chirpy “Hellooooo!” and together, we’d go grab a coffee out at Broadway before work. I recall some of our conversations during those walks; about turmeric being a super herb and how she’d sneak it into dishes for her husband, Tom; about how she loved gardening, and her plans for her vegetable plot at home; about her PhD Bible being Chambers and Hastie’s Statistical Modeling in S. She’d caress it adoringly against her face to impress me with the depth of her feelings for that tome. She was hilarious, that Kimberly.
Towards the end of my PhD, when all I would do was pound away on the laptop in a feverish haze, she’d turn up at my house to check on me. Once, she baked me a lemon cake. “You’re not eating well. You’ve got to stay healthy while writing”, she said, and she made me eat it in front of her, almost as if she didn’t trust that I’d do it after she left.
And finally, on my thesis submission day, she walked me over to the Scholarships Office to do the deed, and then laughingly endured my endless rounds of foolish celebratory photos. So many warm memories.
Thank you, Kimberly.
At the whisper of dawn and the turn of the tide on Pulau Tinggi, we will celebrate you.