by Kathryn Stelljes
Berkeley--Richard Malkin, a professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, received one of Berkeley’s highest honors, the Berkeley Citation, at the College of Natural Resources’ commencement on May23. The Citation, established in 1968, celebrates extraordinary achievement in the recipient’s field coupled with outstanding service to the Berkeley campus.
“Dick is a spectacular scientist and has been recognized as one of Berkeley’s great teachers,” said CNR Dean Paul Ludden, who presented the award.
Malkin received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Antioch College in 1962 and his doctorate in biochemistry from Berkeley in 1967. He returned to Berkeley in 1969 after conducting postdoctoral research in Sweden and became a faculty member in the College of Natural Resources in 1979.
He is an authority on the biophysical and biochemical aspects of photosynthesis. His research has been highly influential in advancing scientific understanding of how light energy is converted into a biologically useful form.
Malkin received the College's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999. For more than 14 years, he has been an instructor in Biology 1A, a large introductory biology course for Berkeley students majoring in one of the many biological science programs. He also has taught upper-level and graduate courses in plant biochemistry.
Malkin molded and served as the first chairman of the Department of Plant Biology and Genetics from 1988 to 1992 and has twice served as interim dean of the College.
“He took faculty from four departments spanning two colleges and formed a cohesive unit that is now recognized as one of the best in the world,” said Ludden. “Dick exceeds the criteria for this award in every way.”