Dr. Sam van der Kloet was born in 1942 at Hiedenskip, Friesland of the Netherlands. After immigrating to Canada with family in 1947, the van der Kloets bought a farm in Petrolia, Ontario. Sam went to Queen’s University during this period and received at BA in Classics as well as a PhD in Botany. While at Queen's he met Carol Rae and they married eventually having two children named Julie and Peter.
After completing his PhD in 1972, Sam and Carol van der Kloet moved to Wolfville, Nova Scotia where Sam became a professor at Acadia University and curator of the E. C. Smith Herbarium. Dr. van der Kloet taught in the biology department for 29 years and during his career he was a prolific writer, publishing over 70 peer-reviewed works which built his reputation as an authority on blueberry plants and their taxonomy. Dr. van der Kloet also conduct many international research trips as part of his ongoing research including to Papua New Guinea in 1975 and on the Hiep Expedition Vietnam in 1997. He maintained strong external relationships including with the Archbold Biological Research Station in Florida and the Linnean Society of London, serving as a research fellow between 1978 to 1979 and becoming an elected fellow in 1998, respectively.
After his retirement as a professor of Acadia, Dr. van der Kloet continued his work as an honorary research associate at the biology department and as the University Botanist for several years. Dr. Sam van der Kloet passed away in Wolfville on January 26, 2011. He is remembered as an active community member, a respected instructor at Acadia,and for his contributions as a globally renowned expert on blueberry plants.