Obituary: Professor Anthony Rose

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Anthony Harry Rose, scientist: born Handsworth Wood, Birmingham 18 July 1930; Lecturer in Industrial Microbiology, Heriot-Watt College 1958-61; Senior Lecturer in Microbiology, Newcastle upon Tyne University 1961-68; Professor of Microbiology, Bath University 1968- 93; married 1957 Jane Orr (two sons, one daughter); died Bath 10 June 1993.

ANTHONY ROSE was not only a university academic and scientist, but a scientific administrator and prolific writer. He was also a lover of art, music and football and a keen squash player.

Rose graduated with First Class honours in Applied Biochemistry from Birmingham University in 1950, completing a Ph D in 1954 and obtaining a D Sc in 1969. His early work on the growth of yeast and lactic acid bacteria stimulated an interest in microbial physiology which was to be a feature of his whole scientific career. Following two years at the Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University, National Service as an Education Officer in the RAF and a post with the National Research Council of Canada, he held successive appointments at Heriot-Watt College and Newcastle upon Tyne University, before moving to the newly established Bath University in 1968 as Professor of Microbiology, a post he held until his death.

At Bath he completed two tours of duty as Head of the School of Biological Sciences and was Dean of Science from 1988 to 1989. As a university teacher he excelled, and generations of students will recall his highly interactive style of delivery, usually without notes and always authoritative. His early writings include valuable textbooks on industrial microbiology and three editions (the first published in the mid-Sixties) of arguably the best texts ever written on microbial physiology, Chemical Microbiology.

As a research scientist Rose's interests were always directed towards the physiology of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and his success in his chosen field is amply illustrated by the publication of over 200 original papers and reviews. This yeast is the most useful of micro-organisms, being the work- horse of the baking, brewing, distilling, and enology industries with which he had a close affiliation as adviser and consultant. Rose promoted research on yeast, long before it became the fashionable organism of the molecular biologist, founding the British Yeast Group in 1976. With JS Harrison he edited the definitive three volumes of The Yeasts in 1969 and an enlarged second edition is at present being produced, the publication of the final Volume Six being scheduled for 1994.

One of his most recent lecturing engagements was to deliver the Kathleen Barton-Wright Lecture at the University of Kent at Canterbury earlier this year on the topic 'Yeasts, the oldest of man's cultivated plants, continue to present problems'.

As a writer he excelled and few contemporaries could claim to match his turn of phrase. In addition to the many publications mentioned above he edited an eight-volume series on Economic Microbiology and established the excellent series of reviews Advances in Microbial Physiology with JF Wilkinson in 1967. With DW Tempest and G. Morris succeeding Wilkinson as co-editor, this series has now reached volume 35.

Tony Rose was an active member of a number of scientific societies and will be remembered particularly for his work for the Society for General Microbiology as a Member of the Council from 1967 to 1971 and International Secretary from 1971 to 1974. He was founding father of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies which brought together the various societies representing microbiology throughout Europe, and served as Secretary General of the federation for the period 1974 to 1980.

Rose was also a family man, married to Jane Orr on St Aidan's Day in 1957, and many fortunate friends and colleagues have enjoyed the warm hospitality of their family home in Bath. Tony and Jane greatly valued the time they were able to spend in their retreat in the Dordogne where he had a study established in a converted pigsty. They had planned to spend more time there following their retirement at the end of this year. His next writing project was to have been a single volume on the yeasts which would have brought together a professional lifetime of experience on his favourite micro-organisms.

(Photograph omitted)

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