David A. Walker (scientist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Walker

David Alan Walker

(1928-08-18)18 August 1928
Died12 February 2012(2012-02-12) (aged 83)
EducationSouth Shields Boys' High School
Alma materDurham University (BSc, PhD)
AwardsHumboldt Research Prize (1991)
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorMeirion Thomas[1][2][3]

David Alan Walker FRS[1] (18 August 1928 – 12 February 2012) was a British scientist and professor of photosynthesis in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (APS) at the University of Sheffield.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10] He authored over 200 scientific publications including several books during his lifetime.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]


Walker was born in Hull and attended South Shields Boys' High School from 1939 to 1946. After doing his national service in the Royal Naval Air Service, he studied at King's College, Newcastle, then part of the Durham University, where he received his Bachelor of Science and subsequently his PhD for research supervised by Meirion Thomas.[1]

Career and research[edit]

Walker's research interests were in photosynthesis, specifically he:

made important contributions to the understanding of photosynthesis, in particular the fixation of carbon dioxide by the biochemical transformations of the Benson–Calvin cycle in the stroma of chloroplasts of higher plants. Based on the meticulous attention to detail and technical prowess derived from his earlier training as an enzymologist, his work prompted totally new thinking about how this cycle was regulated and how it interfaced with the synthesis of ATP and NADPH in the light reactions of photosynthesis.[1]

Awards and honours[edit]

Walker was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1976. His nomination reads:

Walker was the first to show how to obtain high rates of photosynthesis in vitro with bulk preparations of chloroplasts from a leaf. He then was able to study the process of photosynthesis in terms of the selective permeabilities of the outer membrane of a chloroplast in relation to the transfer of active components in the photosynthetic cycle. His methods were rapidly appreciated and widely used: they result in major advances for the study of the physiology of a green plant. Walker is specially distinguished for his contributions to knowledge of the enzymes concerned with carbon fixation by plants both in connection with photosynthesis and with his earlier studies on crassulacean metabolism.[18]

In 2004, Walker received the International Society of Photosynthesis Research Communications Award "to acknowledge his outstanding efforts to communicate photosynthesis to the general public."[19] Walker was also awarded a Doctor of Science degree from Newcastle University in recognition of his exceptional contributions of published work in his field.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Horton, Peter (2014). "David Alan Walker 18 August 1928 -- 13 February 2012". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 60: 413–432. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2014.0007. S2CID 71893509.
  2. ^ Anon (1960). "Botany at Newcastle on Tyne: Prof. Meirion Thomas, F.R.S". Nature. 186 (4730): 1016. doi:10.1038/1861016a0.
  3. ^ Porter, H. K. (1978). "Meirion Thomas. 28 December 1894 – 5 April 1977". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 24: 547–568. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1978.0018.
  4. ^ Walker, David Alan (2005). "David Alan Walker: Emeritus Professor of Photosynthesis". shef.ac.uk. University of Sheffield. Archived from the original on 13 July 2006.
  5. ^ Walker, David Alan (1997). "Tell me where all past years are" (PDF). Photosynthesis Research. 51: 3–4. doi:10.1023/A:1005798803998. S2CID 10337431.
  6. ^ Walker, D. A. (2007). "From Chlorella to chloroplasts: A personal note". Photosynthesis Research. 92 (2): 181–185. doi:10.1007/s11120-007-9139-3. PMID 17279437. S2CID 39571156.
  7. ^ Walker, D. A. (2003). "Chloroplasts in envelopes: CO₂ fixation by fully functional intact chloroplasts". Photosynthesis Research. 76 (1–3): 319–327. doi:10.1023/A:1024962328483. PMID 16228590. S2CID 23051850.
  8. ^ Walker, D. A.; Sivak, M. N. (1986). "Photosynthesis and phosphate: A cellular affair?". Trends in Biochemical Sciences. 11 (4): 176–179. doi:10.1016/0968-0004(86)90136-2.
  9. ^ "Notices 2012". Royal Society. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  10. ^ a b David A. Walker's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  11. ^ Downloadable publications by David Alan Walker, FRS Archived 26 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine hosted by Hansatech Instruments for the International Society of Photosynthesis Research
  12. ^ Walker, Richard T.; Walker, David (1992). Energy, Plants and Man. Oxygraphics Ltd. ISBN 1-870232-05-4. OCLC 027781355.
  13. ^ "Walker, David 1928-2012". worldcat.org. WorldCat.
  14. ^ Walker, D. A. (2009). "Biofuels, facts, fantasy, and feasibility". Journal of Applied Phycology. 21 (5): 509–517. doi:10.1007/s10811-009-9446-5. S2CID 20199379.
  15. ^ Foyer, Christine (1983). "Measurement of the ascorbate content of spinach leaf protoplasts and chloroplasts during illumination". Planta. 157 (3): 239–244. doi:10.1007/BF00405188. PMID 24264153. S2CID 26016290.
  16. ^ Heber, U; Walker, D (1992). "Concerning a dual function of coupled cyclic electron transport in leaves". Plant Physiology. 100 (4): 1621–6. doi:10.1104/pp.100.4.1621. PMC 1075843. PMID 16653176.
  17. ^ Lilley, R. M.; Walker, D. A. (1974). "An improved spectrophotometric assay for ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Enzymology. 358 (1): 226–9. doi:10.1016/0005-2744(74)90274-5. PMID 4368401.
  18. ^ "EC/1979/38: Walker, David Alan". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 10 July 2014.
  19. ^ Anon (2004). "Awards Presented at Montréal Congress". International Society of Photosynthesis Research. Archived from the original on 18 February 2010.