Testimonials for Pioneer Member Derek Bewley
Allan Feurtado – During my MSc degree, Derek was inspirational and taught a naïve undergraduate student the ins and outs of experimental studies in plants with a focus on seed biology. From informal conversations in the lunch room to the formalities of courses and thesis research, Derek was the ‘seed’ that laid the foundation in a scientist’s research career now focused on adaptation to abiotic stress in crops. There are many such stories from Derek’s storied career as a preeminent seed biologist in which he significantly contributed to our understanding of seed physiology and development through his research and scholarly outreach to so many. Many of the ‘seeds’ in which Derek was key for their ‘germination’ have grown to become accomplished scientists in their own right – spreading scientific knowledge for the world’s benefit. Thanks Derek!
Melvin Oliver – Although much of Derek’s career was focused on seed biology, for which his work inspired many to take up that particular mantle for research careers, for me his work served as my inspiration to enter into the field of stress biology and desiccation tolerance. Derek’s truly pioneering work into the desiccation tolerance mechanisms of a previously little studied moss, then Tortula ruralis but now Syntrichia ruralis, formed the framework for the field and my career. His work has inspired a whole generation of biochemists and molecular biologists to study desiccation tolerance in plants and his work and insights still impact the field. His mentorship and his ability to pass on his approach to science not only served me well throughout my career but also saved my career when it was just starting to get going. Forever in your debt, thank you Derek for my life long love of plant biology and for your guidance and support throughout the years.
Hugh Pritchard – Derek inspired wave after wave of seed scientists across the world through his pioneering research, high quality publications and accessible and informative text books. He has always been willing to give his time and advice to young scientists, facilitating their development and nurturing their careers. Derek is a truly exceptional scientist and gentleman.