NZ’s first soil science professor dies

Emeritus Professor Thomas William Walker, more familiar to many New Zealanders as ‘The Prof’, has died age 94.

Walker came to Lincoln University from Britain in the 50s, to take up NZ’s first soil science professorship.  He also became well-known known as ‘The Prof’ in Maggie’s Garden Show, where he filmed most of his material in his own vegetable garden.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“In 1997 he was awarded both Lincoln University’s top medal for advancing New Zealand’s interests, the Bledisloe Medal, and the Royal Society of New Zealand’s top award for scientific distinction, the Rutherford Gold Medal.

“In 2003 he was awarded the Jubilee Medal for significant contributions to agricultural science, presented by the NZ Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Science.

“He was appointed Emeritus Professor of Soil Science at Lincoln University on his retirement in 1979 after a total of 27 years of service at the University spread over two periods.”