Howard Dalton was an outstanding microbiologist who, after his remarkably productive DPhil work in the Nitrogen Fixation Laboratory at the University of Sussex, and a short period in the USA, spent his research career at the University of Warwick. He devoted himself to the elucidation of the process of methane oxidation by bacteria that use this relatively inert gas as their sole source of carbon and energy. He discovered two completely novel multicomponent monooxygenase enzymes responsible for the initial oxidation of methane to methanol. He then continued to elucidate their functions, mechanisms, regulation and structures. Their wide substrate specificity led to his interest in using these and related enzymes for biocatalysis, biological transformations and bioremediation. While remaining at Warwick University he also acted as a highly appreciated Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government at the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra). Howard was a highly effective scientist, a down-to-earth, self-effacing man, outgoing and witty, an inspirational colleague who above all else made science fun.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society