Close on the heels David Kirk, another of my scientific heroes, John Tyler Bonner, died two weeks ago. Now Princeton University has published an announcement that gives some background on Bonner’s life and career:
A three-time chair of the Department of Biology, Bonner served on the Princeton faculty for 42 years and remained active teaching and researching for more than two decades after transferring to emeritus status in 1990.
Primary among Bonner’s accomplishments were his discoveries about the behavior of slime molds, which are found in soils throughout the world. He led the way in making Dictyostelium discoideum a model organism central to examining some of the major questions in experimental biology.
Bonner was active in research long after his retirement, and his last book was published in 2013. The Princeton article includes remembrances from his colleagues at Princeton and elsewhere, along with a partial list of his accolades:
Bonner was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association of the Advancement of Science, and an honorary fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society and the National Academy of Sciences. He was awarded an honorary degree from Princeton at Commencement in 2006.