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Abstract Detail

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

Thorhaug, Anitra [1].

A Tribute to Lawrence R. Blinks: Ions, Light and algae.

AN Indiana-born & Michigan-raised lad spanned the century (1900-1989) in botanical science. His penetrating research discoveries propelled him to the National Academy of Sciences, became a building force in two of the most prestigious Universities in the world, and created a long career of teaching with a legacy of students. At Harvard, in the 1920ís his colleagues included William Randolph Taylor; his mentor was Professor Osterhout. Working on ion transport he made great strides in the understanding of electrical properties of plant membranes. During World War Two, enemy submarines kept him from the Bermuda Biological Station, so he frequented Ft. Jefferson and Key West. He became the editor of Plant Physiology Reviews. Stanford beckoned and after a stint on the Palo Alto campus, he found his ideal research nook at the Hopkins Marine Station Stanford on the Monterrey Peninsula and became Director. His colleagues were Giese, Van Neil, Twitty and Beadle. Here algae was in abundance and Blinks was free to pursue his research and teaching. In the forties he began to look at light relations in detail with a group of co-workers, especially F. Haxo. After a long and productive career and in emeritus status, he went to University of California Santa Cruz with half time to form the Biological Sciences Department, while commuting back to Pacific Grove to do his research. His contributions include electric potential studies of a series of giant algal cells still the basis of the membrane transport literature, important photosynthesis studies of a variety of marine algae widely acknowledged as the basis of photosystems I and II. The symposium will include former students of Blinks, who will highlight his influence in fields of physiological phycology and fundamental plant sciences as well as his son who tells Blinks life-story.

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1 - Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Greeley Laboratories 359 Prospect St., New Haven, Connecticut, 06901, USA

ion transport
Photosystems I and II
algal membranes
algae and light relations
Giant Algal Cells
Hopkins Marine Station.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 18-1
Location: 134/Performing Arts Center
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 1:00 PM
Abstract ID:92

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