A tribute to Lawrence R. Blinks: Ions, light, and algae
Duncan, Mary Jo .
Light and pigments: a former Blinks.
MY association with Dr. Lawrence Blinks in one summer class (1966) in algal physiology completely changed my research direction from invertebrates to seaweeds. By chance, my master’s project was sidetracked from investigating a starfish for lysosomes to an enzyme study of a red alga, Gigartina papillata, which led me to Dr. Blinks’ class. My intention to return to invertebrate physiology faded under the influence of Dr. Blinks’ lectures. His enthusiasm for phycological research led to my fascination with the accessory pigments of marine algae and with the measurement of underwater radiation. My interest in pigments was enhanced in Dr. Blinks’ class when, with his help, I identified chlorophyll d in an extract of Porphyra perforata. While many questioned the existence of Chl d, from that day I was convinced. Despite the fascination of red algae, I switched to a brown seaweed, Nereocystis leutkeana, for my doctoral research at Simon Fraser University with Dr. William Vidaver, himself a graduate student of Dr. Blinks. My research investigated the possible presence of phytochrome and its contribution to the exceptionally rapid growth of N. leutkeana. This investigation entailed measuring underwater light, which I first learned about from Dr. Blinks. My research required measurement of underwater spectral irradiation and resulted in my joining with a colleague, Dr. Jay Burr, to design and build an underwater spectroradiometer. The published details in L&O led to the manufacture and distribution of a similar instrument. Still working in marine plants, I, and many of my students over the years, are forever grateful to Dr. Lawrence Blinks. -DU
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1 - Rosturk, Mulranny, County Mayo, , Ireland
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: 134/Performing Arts Center
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 2:15 PM