Born in New Zealand, Peter Larkin came to Canada as a child, and was educated at the University of Saskatchewan and at Oxford (where he was a Rhodes Scholar, earning his DPhil at the age of 24). He moved to B.C. as Chief Fisheries biologist for the B.C. Game Commission in 1948, and in 1955 he joined the faculty at UBC. He worked first in the Fisheries Institute, and then in the Department of Zoology; and subsequently he became head of department, then dean of Graduate Studies, and later still, vice-president in charge of research. Author of some 160 scientific papers, he also served over the course of his career on some 50 local, national, and international commissions, ranging from the Science Council of Canada and the National Research Council to TRIUMF and the Vancouver Hospital Board, and from federal studies of the impact of pesticides, and United Nations studies of marine mammals, to the Board of B.C. Packers Ltd., the B.C. Advisory Committee on Ecological Reserves, and the committee that worked on preserving and developing Strathcona Park. After his retirement from UBC, he became actively involved in the Northern River Basins Study, and he maintained his interest in marine research. From 1993 to 1994, he was appointed as a temporary head commissioner for the British Columbia Utilities Commission Review on the Kemano Completion Project.