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Abstract Detail

A tribute to Lawrence R. Blinks: Ions, light, and algae

Vidaver, William [1].

A tribute to L. R. Blinks.

AS a thirty-nine year old graduate of San Francisco State with a National Science Foundation Graduate Scholarship, I applied to Stanford University with the idea of working on some aspect of marine plants. Dr. Blinks, discovering I was a journeyman machinist, proposed that I investigate “The effects of high hydrostatic pressure on photosynthesis in marine algae,” as I might design and construct the necessary equipment. Four years later, I completed my Ph.D. thesis with that title.
Dr. Blinks was occupied with the electrophysiology of the giant algal cell Halicystis, but he also worked on photosynthesis in marine algae, in part with a former student, Francis Haxo. Using the oxygen rate electrode with different light qualities, these experiments supported the idea of two photo systems (PS1 and PS2) in photosynthesis. I incorporated the rate electrode into a high pressure optical vessel to observe effects of up to 1000 kbars on photosynthesis, including PS1 and PS2. This work was eventually published. I asked Dr. Blinks to coauthor it, but with characteristic modesty, he declined saying he hadn’t contributed enough to it, though it could not have been done without him. With my Ph.D. and Dr. Blinks’ support, I became a fellow at the Department of Plant Physiology of the Carnegie Institution, spending two productive years with Stacy French and David Fork. Later, I became a Biology professor at Simon Fraser University, continuing research in Photobiology of both marine and land plants. Of my graduate students and post-docs, some of whom continued this type of phycological physiology work, most are employed at research institutions in Canada, the US, and Europe. -DU

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1 - Simon Fraser University, Biology Dept, Vancouver, British Columbia, , Canada

High hydrostatic pressure
marine algae
High pressure
pressure photosynthesis.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 18-6
Location: 134/Performing Arts Center
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 4:00 PM
Abstract ID:18

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