Plant and Soil

, Volume 293, Issue 1–2, pp 3–5 | Cite as

Professor John Proctor (1944–2006)

  • Francis Q. BrearleyEmail author
  • Laszlo Nagy
Original Paper

Professor John Proctor, one of the foremost researchers on both the ecology of areas over ultramafic rocks and on tropical forest ecology, sadly passed away on 20th August 2006 in Blackburn, England.

John Proctor was born in 1944 in Accrington, Lancashire, England. He was described in one of his school reports as ‘bright, but a very silly boy’. As a teenager, he was a keen football player, playing in goal, and was obsessed with the local football team. Despite his boyhood aspiration, he was not spotted by their talent scouts. It was his keen mind that was noted at St Mary’s College by the teaching priests, who tried to direct him towards priesthood. However, he obtained a scholarship to the University of Oxford to read botany instead.

He gained a first class degree in 1965 and then stayed on at Oxford to do research for his D.Phil. thesis entitled Studies in Serpentine Plant Ecologywhen he travelled the length of the British Isles many times on his motorcycle. Four important papers...


Serpentine Ultramafic Soil High Esteem Heath Forest Serpentine Plant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to George Argent, Sue Fogden, Robin Hanbury-Tenison and Rupert Ridgeway for additional thoughts and insights and Sumpurno Bruijnzeel for the unique photograph of John.


  1. Hanbury-Tenison R (1984) Mulu: the rain forest. Widenfeld and Nicolson, London, UK, p 176Google Scholar
  2. Hoffman P, Baker AJM, Madulid DA, Proctor J (2003) Phyllanthus balgooyi (Euphorbiaceae s.l.), a new nickel-hyperaccumulating species from Palawan and Sabah. Blumea 48:193–199Google Scholar
  3. Proctor J (1970) Magnesium as a toxic element. Nature 227:742–743PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Proctor J (1979) A preliminary look at the language of Long Terawan. Sarawak Mus J 27(48):103–170Google Scholar
  5. Proctor J (ed) (1997) Scottish vegetation: plant ecology in Scotland. Bot J Scotland 49: 1–524Google Scholar
  6. Proctor J (1999) Heath forests and acid soils. Bot J Scotland 51:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Proctor J, McGowan ID (1976) Influence of magnesium on nickel toxicity. Nature 260:134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Proctor J, Proctor S, (1978) Nature’s use of colour in plants and their flowers. Peter Lowe, London, UK, p 116Google Scholar
  9. Proctor J, Woodell SRJ (1975) The ecology of serpentine soils. Adv Ecol Res 9:256–347Google Scholar
  10. Proctor J, Johnston WR, Cottam DA, Wilson AB (1981) Field-capacity water extracts from serpentine soils. Nature 294:245–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Proctor J, Anderson JM, Chai P, Vallack HW (1983a) Ecological studies in four contrasting lowland rain forests in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak. I. Forest environment, structure and floristics. J Ecol 71:237–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Proctor J, Anderson JM, Fogden SCL, Vallack HW (1983b) Ecological studies in four contrasting lowland rain forests in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak. II. Litterfall, litter standing crop and preliminary observations on herbivory. J Ecol 71:261–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany, Trinity CollegeUniversity of DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.EcoScience ScotlandGlasgowScotland, UK

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