Robert Newton

Robert Newton, plant biochemist, university president (b at Montréal 7 Feb 1889; d at Laguna Hills, Calif 22 Nov 1985), brother of Margaret NEWTON. Robert Newton was one of 5 children; all, including 2 girls, became scientists, and all had PhD qualifications.

Robert Newton

Robert Newton, plant biochemist, university president (b at Montréal 7 Feb 1889; d at Laguna Hills, Calif 22 Nov 1985), brother of Margaret NEWTON. Robert Newton was one of 5 children; all, including 2 girls, became scientists, and all had PhD qualifications. After service in the First World War (MC 1917), Newton became professor of field crops at University of Alberta, whose president H.M. TORY became chairman of the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL in 1923. Newton's research was focused on wheat: winter hardiness, drought resistance and resistance to rust. He became Tory's chief adviser on agricultural science, served as director of the NRC's Division of Biology and Agriculture (1932-40), and succeeded Tory as chairman of the influential Grain Research Committee. His best university students were sent abroad to earn PhD degrees in the world's leading institutions and came home to constitute the core of the NRC's biology staff. Newton returned to Edmonton in 1940 and was president of U of A 1941-50.