GRANA special issue "In memoriam, John Rowley"

GRANA special issue "In memoriam, John Rowley (1926-2010)" has been published during July 2012.


John Raymond Rowley (*23 May 1926, †25 September 2010) was a remarkable palynologist, who contributed to almost every branch of the discipline from palaeopalynology to developmental biology. He also demonstrated a remarkable versatility in the range of techniques he had at his command.

..., visiting their home in Lidingö close to Stockholm, Stephen [Blackmore] was informed by John that they would be meeting Joanne at the "Mandarin Duck" (which appeared to be the name of a restaurant). Arriving at a small lake, we walked along the shore until we found a solitary Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata), where we waited for a few minutes until another figure approached, walked up and down the shore scanning the lake for birds, and spotting the Mandarin Duck, joined us. It was Joanne. At the time, this was just another example of the fun the pair had together, but it is possible to find a deeper meaning. There is a Chinese metaphor, "yuān yāng xì shuǐ" (literally: two mandarin ducks playing in water), used to describe life-time loving couples. Meeting them at any point in their 55 years together one could be forgiven for thinking that John and Joanne were newlyweds ...

It can be said, without risk of contradiction, that John Rowley pursued a unique and distinctive path in palynological research. He regarded pollen grains and spores as dynamic living entities and wanted to understand their biology, including aspects such as growth in size within the sporangium or anther, the permeability of the sporoderm to different substances and how it was assembled during the course of development. John had an encyclopaedic knowledge of buffers, fixatives and staining reagents for every method of investigation and he was, in this sense, a virtuoso microscopist. In parallel with his interest in how the sporoderm was assembled, he took an active interest in how it might be disassembled.

[Taken from Stephen Blackmore's and John Skvarla's laudatio in GRANA 51/2]. 

The special issue was guest-edited by Thomas Denk (NRM Stockholm).

See the contents of the issue and read more here.