Dr. Brian Warren Kot, age 48, passed away unexpectedly on January 15, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. He was born in Flint, Michigan, in 1974. He grew up in Flushing, Michigan, with his brother Eric, his parents, and golden retriever, Rex.
Brian attended Michigan State University where he majored in packaging, played in the jazz band, and joined Pi Kappa Phi. His love of Biology took him back to school at the University of Colorado and then UCLA where he earned a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Kot taught at Texas A&M Galveston while researching sea turtles. Brian then went on to the University of Minnesota Duluth as a research Biologist where he tracked and studied wolves.
Next in his career, Dr. Kot was a Zoology Professor at Antioch College, where he taught for 5 years. At his untimely death, Brian was the Research Director at Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS), a non-profit, charitable research organization based in both Canada and the United States, dedicated to ecological studies of marine mammals and marine ecosystems. His main area of research was minke whales, and he studied humpback and blue whales as well.
Dr. Kot has published many articles in the field of Biology, has had his whale photography displayed in museum exhibits, and had one of his whale photographs chosen as the front cover for Marine Mammal Science, a scholarly journal.
In his free time, Brian loved snowmobiling, especially anything related to Arctic Cat; fishing, most recently trying to catch an elusive muskie in Ohio and fishing in Kentucky; traveling all over the US and abroad enjoying nature and hiking; and restoring classic cars and vintage snowmobiles. He was an avid collector with varied interests (vintage snowmobile helmets, nature and whale art, and pewter animal sculptures).
Brian was a friend to all. He was generous, kind, welcoming, and inclusive. He loved to make others laugh and participate in hijinks and shenanigans. He will be missed by everyone that knows him.
Brian is survived by his beloved partner Mary O’Hara, his father James Kot (wife Lynda), his mother Bonnie Kot (partner Dave Herdegen), his brother Eric Kot (wife Tracy and daughter Kaelyn), his step-sister Michelle Ososki (husband Aaron), his step-brother Frederick Babcock, his aunt and uncle Pat and Larry Dodson, Cousins Warren Dodson (wife Jamie and sons Holden, Reece, and Henry), and Jody Dodson (wife Stephanie).