Dr. Markham has made outstanding contributions to the chemistry and
biochemistry of plant polyphenols. He is particularly distinguished for
his studies of the structural elucidation, distribution and functions
of flavonoids and related phenolics and is a world leader in this
field. He has brilliantly pioneered the application of NMR spectroscopy
to flavonoid structure determination, and his 1970 and 1982 books, “The
Systematic Identification of Flavonoids” (Springer-Verlag) and
“Techniques of Flavonoid Identification” (Academic Press) have become
standard texts for practising students and scientists. He has made a
unique contribution to our knowledge of the flavonoid chemistry of
mosses and liverworts, and has applied such data to their taxonomy and
evolution and to the tracing of past ozone levels (through studies of
Antarctic mosses). His 1969 discovery of flavonoids in the green alga,
Nitella, remains to this day the only substantiated report of flavonoid
biosynthesis in the algal kingdom. His more recent research has been
devoted to the study of flavonoids in health foods, the establishment
of background chemistry in support of the successful development of new
colour forms in the petals of ornamental plants, the chemistry of plant
colour at the sub-cellular level, and the function of flavonoids in
plant UV defence.
Dr Markham has upwards of 250 scientific papers to his name, including 3 books and 17 invited chapters. During his career to date he has been the recipient of numerous honours including: the award of the Easterfield Medal and of the Royal Society of NZ- Science and Technology Medal; election to Fellowship of the NZ Institute of Chemistry and of the NZ Royal Society; and in 1999 he was awarded one of the highest honours in his scientific field, The International Pergamon Phytochemistry Prize for creativity in Plant Biochemistry. Dr Markham has worked at the DSIR (Dominion Laboratory and Chemistry Division), Lower Hutt, New Zealand; Industrial Research Ltd, Lower Hutt, New Zealand; the Chemistry Dept. of the University of Melbourne, Australia; the Botany Dept of the University of Texas at Austin, USA (with Prof. Tom Mabry); the University of Reading, England (with Professor Jeffrey Harborne) and is currently a Research Associate at Industrial Research Ltd.
He has recently co-edited the most authoritative book on flavonoids published to date: “Flavonoids: Chemistry, Biochemistry and Applications” (2006) Taylor and Francis Group, CRC Press.
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