Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 138, Issue 2, pp 129–138 | Cite as

In memory of Thomas Turpin Bannister (1930–2018)

  • Edward Laws
  • Alan Weidemann
  • George Hoch
  • Horatio Bannister
  • Robert S. Knox
  • Govindjee


Tom Bannister (1930–2018) was an extraordinary person and a remarkably productive scientist. He began his career studying the basics of photochemistry, biophysics, and biology of photosynthetic pigments and later moved on to primary production of algae. His publications on modeling of primary production rates in aquatic systems are among the most widely cited in the field of phytoplankton ecology. His scientific enthusiasm was contagious, and his knowledge of photosynthesis and phytoplankton ecology enabled him to wisely mentor an impressive group of graduate students. He encouraged his students to strike out on their own but was always supportive and caring. Tom had a great love of life and nature, and he had a wonderful sense of humor. His students and those with whom he interacted remember him with great fondness. We have included here remembrances from some of us as well as from Rich Dempsey; Michael (Mike) Johnson; Stephen Lien; Janet Pelley; Bruce Selman; and Rudy Slovacek.


Photosynthesis Modeling Light Nutrients Chlorophyll a fluorescence Oxygenic photosynthesis Phytoplankton ecology Limnology 



We are very grateful to many who have helped us in collecting information on Tom and his research. The list is too long, but it includes Curtis Degasperi and Melissa S. Mead (University Archivist and Rochester Collections Librarian) of the University of Rochester; Ms. Mead provided us necessary information on the “Collected Works of Thomas T. Bannister”, produced in 1997 at the time of his retirement from the University. Govindjee thanks Rajni Govindjee, George Papageorgiou, and John Munday for reading an early draft of a part of this Tribute. Finally, all the authors are highly thankful to Robert Blankenship, Editor of this Tribute, for his valuable help in getting it reviewed and for getting it into production.


The preparation of this manuscript was supported by personal funds of the authors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Laws
    • 1
  • Alan Weidemann
    • 2
  • George Hoch
    • 3
  • Horatio Bannister
    • 4
  • Robert S. Knox
    • 5
  • Govindjee
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Every Day Joy Counseling Services LLC.PicayuneUSA
  3. 3.Cape CoralUSA
  4. 4.TroutmanUSA
  5. 5.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  6. 6.Departments of Plant Biology and BiochemistryUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

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