- © 2004 by AASP Foundation
The American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists bestows upon DR. DAVID WALL The AASP Medal of Scientific Excellence, For seminal contributions to dinoflagellate cyst biology and ecology, and applications of this research to the fossil record
PRESENTATION BY MARTIN J. HEAD AND REX HARLAND
David Wall was born in Alfreton, Derbyshire, U.K. in 1937. His research career began in 1959, following graduation with a B.Sc. in Geology from University College Wales, Aberystwyth, when he started a doctoral programme at the University of Sheffield under the supervision of the late Professor (then Dr.) Charles Downie. Fellow doctoral students at that time included Bill Sarjeant and Graham Williams. For an individual destined to change our perception of dinoflagellates and their cysts, the title of David’s research project and subsequent doctoral thesis was the unprepossessing “Liassic microplankton, spores and pollen grains from Britain”, which was later published in Micropaleontology. However the shape of things to come was hinted by the publication in 1962 of a paper entitled “Evidence from Recent plankton regarding the biological affinities of Tasmanites Newton 1875 and Leiosphaeridia Eisenack 1958” linking observations on fossil planktonic organisms with modern material.
After gaining his doctorate in 1963, David left the United Kingdom to pursue a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S.A. In 1964 he joined the Staff as a Research Scientist and from then until 1977 (when he became a U.S. citizen), there followed a thirteen year period of astonishing productivity that broke new ground in dinoflagellate research and fundamentally changed our perceptions of many aspects of the dinoflagellate organism and the role and nature of its cyst phase. During most of this time David was working with Barrie Dale who had crossed the Atlantic in 1964 to take up a position of Research Assistant, and then Research Associate, at the Institution and hence became …