Thomas ap Rees

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Thomas ap Rees
Born(1930-10-19)October 19, 1930
Frome, Somerset
Died October 3, 1996(1996-10-03) (aged 65)
Alma mater University of Oxford (DPhil)
Scientific career
Fields Biochemistry [1]
Thesis The Effect of fungal infection upon the respoiratory metabolism of plant tissues  (1957)
Doctoral advisor Jack Harley [2]

Thomas ap Rees (19 October 1930 – 3 October 1996) was a botanist. He was Professor of Botany in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge between 1991 and 1996 [3] when he has killed in a road accident whilst cycling home.

Botany science of plant life

Botany, also called plant science(s), plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek word βοτάνη (botanē) meaning "pasture", "grass", or "fodder"; βοτάνη is in turn derived from βόσκειν (boskein), "to feed" or "to graze". Traditionally, botany has also included the study of fungi and algae by mycologists and phycologists respectively, with the study of these three groups of organisms remaining within the sphere of interest of the International Botanical Congress. Nowadays, botanists study approximately 410,000 species of land plants of which some 391,000 species are vascular plants, and approximately 20,000 are bryophytes.

Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge Department of the University of Cambridge that conducts research and teaching in plant sciences.

The Department of Plant Sciences is a department of the University of Cambridge that conducts research and teaching in plant sciences.

University of Cambridge University in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two 'ancient universities' share many common features and are often referred to jointly as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.


Education and early life

He was born in Frome, Somerset and attended Llandovery College, Dyfed and served two years military service in the Royal Corps of Signals before studying botany at Lincoln College, Oxford gaining a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1957 for research supervised by Jack Harley. [2]

Frome town and civil parish in eastern Somerset, England

Frome is a town and civil parish in eastern Somerset, England. Located at the eastern end of the Mendip Hills, the town is built on uneven high ground, and centres on the River Frome. The town is approximately 13 miles (21 km) south of Bath, 43 miles (69 km) east of the county town, Taunton and 107 miles (172 km) west of London. In the 2011 census, the population was given as 26,203. The town is in the Mendip district of Somerset and is part of the parliamentary constituency of Somerton and Frome.

Somerset County of England

Somerset is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west by the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel, its coastline facing southeastern Wales. Its traditional border with Gloucestershire is the River Avon. Somerset's county town is Taunton.

Llandovery College is a coeducational independent school in Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, Wales. The college consists of Gollop Preparatory, Senior School and Sixth Form. It was previously known as "Welsh College, Llandovery" and "Collegiate Institute" at various periods of its history.

Research and career

He lived in Sydney, Australia for a number of years as a lecturer in botany at the University of Sydney and in 1961 he was appointed as Senior Research Officer of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. He returned to Britain in 1964 on being appointed a lecturer at the University of Cambridge. [4]

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,131,326, and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

University of Sydney university in Sydney, Australia

The University of Sydney is an Australian public research university in Sydney, Australia. Founded in 1850, it was Australia's first university and is regarded as one of the world's leading universities. The university is colloquially known as one of Australia's sandstone universities. Its campus is ranked in the top 10 of the world's most beautiful universities by the British Daily Telegraph and The Huffington Post, spreading across the inner-city suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington. The university comprises 9 faculties and university schools, through which it offers bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. In 2014 it had 33,505 undergraduate and 19,284 graduate students.

Ap Rees' contribution to plant biochemistry was substantial. [1] He published over 100 research papers and more than 20 reviews during his career. [4] Over 170 scientists attended a meeting held after his death in honour of him and his work. His main area of research was in the regulation and control of plant metabolism. He argued that sucrose played a central role in plant metabolism. Much of his research was on non-crop species as he believed that there may be metabolic features present in these that could be bred into crop plants. Fellow scientists admired him for his sound approach to research. [5]

Biochemistry study of chemical processes in living organisms

Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. Biochemical processes give rise to the complexity of life.

Metabolism The set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of organisms

Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are: the conversion of food to energy to run cellular processes; the conversion of food/fuel to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates; and the elimination of nitrogenous wastes. These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments..

Sucrose chemical compound

Sucrose is common table sugar. It is a disaccharide, a molecule composed of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. Sucrose is produced naturally in plants, from which table sugar is refined. It has the molecular formula C12H22O11.

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  1. 1 2 Stitt, Mark; Bulpin, Paul V.; Ap Rees, T. (1978). "Pathway of starch breakdown in photosynthetic tissues of Pisum sativum". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects. 544 (1): 200–214. doi:10.1016/0304-4165(78)90223-4. ISSN   0304-4165.
  2. 1 2 ap Rees, Thomas (1957). The Effect of fungal infection upon the respoiratory metabolism of plant tissues (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford.
  3. ap REES, Prof. Thomas. Who Was Who. 1996 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Closed Access logo alternative.svg (subscription required)
  4. 1 2 David Summers, Ed Tanner and Tony Kirby (10 October 1996). "Obituary: Professor Thomas ap Rees". The Independent.
  5. Hill, S. (1998). "Carbohydrate metabolism in plants". Trends in Plant Science. 3 (10): 370–371. doi:10.1016/S1360-1385(98)01320-X.