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Dr Colin Walker

Professional biography

  • I am currently a Science Staff Tutor. Since I joined the OU in 1982, I have been involved in writing many textbooks and have had academic input into several TV, video and interactive media programmes on biochemistry, microbiology and cell biology.
  • My passion in life is succulent plants that started as a school boy in 1967, when I grew a few plants on windowsills at my parent's house. Even at this early stage my interests were with the other succulents, mainly Adromischus, Aloe, Gasteria, and Haworthia. I now has a modest-sized greenhouse collection of succulents, with most of the major families of succulents represented; many tender plants, along with a collection of sansevierias, also occupy many windowsills in the house.
  • Over the years I have played various roles in the “succulent scene”. My involvement with the International Asclepiad Society started in 1977, since when I have been Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Chairman and Editor of the journal Asklepios. Since 2001 I have been editor of Bradleya, scientific Yearbook of the British Cactus & Succulent Society.
  • I have published many articles in various succulent journals around the world, and contributed to the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (2001–2003) on families such as the Crassulaceae, Bombacaceae, Dracaenaceae, Nolinaceae, and Urticaceae. 
  • In 2011 I co-authored Aloes - The Definitive Guide, co-published by The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and The British Cactus & Succulent Society. This is a major volume dealing with a large genus of succulents, some of which, notably Aloe vera, are of major economic importance.
  • I am currently working on  a second edition of  the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants
  • As well as growing and writing about succulents, my other passion is collecting literature on these plants, and I now has an extensive library of books, booklets, and periodicals, ranging from very technical monographs through to novels, children’s books and even comic books.
  • I’m married to Marjorie and we have a daughter, Amy.

                                                                                                                                       

 

Research interests

 
Present research interests are centred around the biosystematics and conservation of succulent plants, notably members of the family Apocynaceae. Current topics:
(1) Reassessment of Deflers’ work on Arabian Apocynaceae. 

(2) Lectotypification of the African genus Sarcostemma (Apocynaceae).
(3) Assessment of Todaro’s Hortus Botanicus Panormitanus, including review of the generaAloe (Aloaceae) and Agave (Agavaceae) treated in this work.
(4) Revision of the genus Euphorbia (Euphorbiaceae) in Morocco.
(5) Revision of the genus Aeonium (Crassulaceae) in Morocco.                                          

 
 
I have been an invited speaker at several international conferences: the Cactus & Succulent Society ofAmerica, San Francisco (1995); the Cactus & Succulent Society of New Zealand, NewPlymouth (2000); The Succulent Plants of eastern Africa, Verbania, Italy (2002), and the Cactus & Succulent Society of New Zealand, Auckland (2005).         
I presented the Hampshire Memorial Lecture to the British Cactus & Succulent Society’s AGM in 1996 and 2005.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching interests

I have contributed to the following current OU course:                                       
S103 Discovering Science, a 60 point foundation level course, first presented in 1998. I was author of material covering the areas of cell and molecular biology for Block 9, Continuity and Change. This included production of a video programme entitled Information flow in cells, which describes the structure of DNA and illustrates dynamically the processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation. A new departure here for me was work on an interactive multi-media program Cells and Energy, which visualises the processes of respiration and photosynthesis in a cellular context.                                           
S204 Biology: Uniformity and Diversity, our major 60 point second level course, first presented in February 2001. I was author of two chapters: Proteins: structure and catalytic function in Book 3 The core of life Vol. I and Microbes in the environment in Book 4 Microbes. Since July 2001 I have been Maintenance Course Team Chair of this course, with full responsibility for its presentation to an annual student population of 600-700 students, presented by a team of 25 ALs. I have authored 2 TMAs each year, and overseen the production and checking of all other assignments. I maintain regular contact with our ALs via Moodle Forums.                                                                          

I am currently a member of the S366 Evolution and S377 Molecular and cell biology maintenance course teams and chair of the production course team for S294 Cells, genes and microbes, due for first presentation in February 2012.

Publications

Aloe mitriformis subsp. distans: the small mitre aloe (2017-02)
Walker, Colin C.
New Zealand Cactus and Succulent Journal, 70(1) (pp. 4-7)
Aloe tomentosa - a species with unusual hairy flowers from the Yemen (2016-09)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 34(3) (pp. 153-158)
A couple of Curios (2016)
Walker, Colin C.
Northants News, 27(1) (pp. 5-7)
Aloe vera on Lanzarote (2016)
Walker, Colin
New Zealand Cactus & Succulent Journal, 69(2) (pp. 20-23)
Beaucarnea updated (2015-09)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 33(4) (pp. 267-272)
Eric Judd - South African Aloe artist (2015-03)
Walker, Colin and Smith, Gideon F.
CactusWorld, 33(1) (pp. 59-63)
The origin and predominance of Aloe vera (2015)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 33(4) (pp. 276-277)
Aloe succotrina (Asphodelaceae) (2015)
Walker, C. C.; Klopper, R. R.; Smith, G. F. and Condy, Gillian
Flowering Plants of Africa, 64 (pp. 26-40)
Dasylirion wheeleri (2015)
Walker, Colin
Northants News, 26(3) (pp. 7-8)
Aloe hardyi - a rare South African cremnophyte (2014-12)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 32(4) (pp. 289-292)
More changes in Haworthia. (2014-12)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 32(4) (p 304)
More change in Aloe, Haworthia and their close relatives (2014-06)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 32(2) (pp. 138-139)
All change in Dracaena and Sansevieria (2014-06)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 32(2) (pp. 140-141)
All change in Aloe and Haworthia (2014-03-12)
Walker, Colin
Cactus and Succulent Journal of NSW, 29(4) (pp. 78-80)
The World's biggest cactus flowers (2014)
Walker, Colin and Thorburn, Marjorie
Northants News, 25(3) (pp. 12-13)
Aloe cremnophila and Aloe jacksonii - cliff-dwellers from the Horn of Africa. (2014)
Walker, Colin
Northants News, 25(2) (pp. 14-16)
All change in Aloe and Haworthia (2013-12)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 31(4) (p 297)
Two Kenyan sansevierias of Peter Bally (2013-07)
Walker, Colin
Northants News, 24(2) (pp. 6-7)
A cholla cactus and a grasshopper (2012-12)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 30(4) (pp. 233-234)
Agaves through the ages (2011-06)
Walker, Colin
Cactus and Succulent Journal of NSW, 27(8) (pp. 153-156)
The name game (2011-06)
Walker, Colin
Cactus and Succulent Journal of NSW, 27(8) (pp. 170-177)
Macaronesian memories. The succulents of the Canary Islands, Morocco and Madeira (2011-06)
Walker, Colin
Cactus and Succulent Journal of NSW, 27(8) (pp. 182-186)
What's in a name: an update on epithets used in Aloe L. (Asphodelaceae) (2011)
Smith, G.F.; Walker, Colin and Figueiredo, E.
Bradleya, 29 (pp. 179-181)
Gilbert Westacott Reynolds: his study of Aloe and a bibliography of his work (2010)
Walker, Colin
Bradleya, 28, (pp. 111-124)
Editorial: Darwin and Kew anniversaries (2009)
Walker, Colin
Bradleya, 27 (pp. 1-2)
A new name in Monsonia (2008-12)
Walker, Colin
CactusWorld, 26(4) (pp. 248-249)
Brachystelma bracteolatum Meve a rare Nigerian endemic (2008-12)
Walker, Colin C.
Asklepios, 103 (pp. 19-22)
Bradleya 25 and the Linnaean legacy (2007)
Walker, Colin C.
Bradleya, 25 (pp. 1-8)
A tale of two Arabian aloes (2005)
Walker, Colin
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 23 (pp. 175-179)
xTavarorbea - another intergeneric hybrid stapeliad (2005)
Walker, Colin C.
Asklepios(92) (pp. 7-8)
Two succulent aroids (2004-12)
Walker, Colin
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 22 (pp. 185-187)
A new intergeneric hybrid stapeliad (2004-11)
Walker, Colin
New Zealand Cactus & Succulent Journal, 57(4) (pp. 103-107 + cover)
James Harvey Callander and his rare publication: Cactus Culture for Amateurs (1906) (2002)
Walker, Colin
Cactus and Succulent Journal (US), 74(3) (pp. 121-126)
Introducing the Nolinaceae (2001-12)
Walker, Colin
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 19(4) (pp. 214-221)
The botanical paintings of Mary Maud Page (2001)
Smith, Gideon F. and Walker, Colin C.
Bradleya, 19 (p 124)
Canaries and kasbahs - the succulents of the Canary Islands and Morocco - Part 2 (2000-08)
Walker, Colin C.
New Zealand Cactus & Succulent Journal, 53(3) (pp. 70-77)
Canaries and kasbahs - the succulents of the Canary Islands and Morocco (2000-05)
Walker, Colin C.
New Zealand Cactus & Succulent Journal, 53(2) (pp. 36-49)
John Medley Wood's Natal Asclepiads (2000-04)
Walker, Colin C. and Downs, Philip E.
Asklepios(79) (pp. 3-9)
Agave attenuata and some new cultivars (2000)
Walker, Colin C.
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 18(2) (pp. 95-98)
Arabian asclepiads of Albert Deflers (1999-04)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios(76) (pp. 23-32)
A tale of dragons - the pachycaul species of Dracaena (1999)
Walker, Colin
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 17(4) (pp. 171-177)
Senecio rowleyanus (1999)
Smith, G.F.; Walker, Colin and Condy, G.
Flowering Plants of Africa, 56 (pp. 116-120, t.2160)
A question of balance: when is a Caralluma a Caralluma and not a Caudanthera? (1997-12)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios(72) (pp. 12-13)
A.A. Bullock and his asclepiad studies (1997-12)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios(72) (pp. 20-24)
Van Rheede and the first Ceropegia (1997-08)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios(71) (pp. 26-34)
Obetia ficifolia - a pachycaul stinging nettle (1997)
Burston, Colin; Martin, Ralph and Walker, Colin
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 15(1) (pp. 2-6)
James Donn and the succulents of 'Hortus Cantabrigiensis' (1996)
Walker, Colin C.
Bradleya, 14 (pp. 20-28)
Echeveria setosa var. deminuta (1994-09)
Walker, Colin
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 12(3) (pp. 90-91)
Robert Brown's contributions to asclepiad study (1994-08)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios(62) (pp. 20-34, plate 1)
Frederick Scheer (1792-1868) of Kew (1994)
Walker, Colin C.
Kew Magazine, 11(2) (pp. 74-81)
Sansevierias make scents (1994)
Walker, Colin
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 12 (p 92)
The Asclepiads of Morocco - a short commentary (1993-08)
Jonkers, Bert and Walker, Colin C.
Asklepios(59) (pp. 14-21)
Pilea peperomioides - a Chinese member of the stinging nettle family (1993)
Walker, Colin
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 11(4) (pp. 98-99)
A note on the Carallumas of Jordan (1992)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios(55) (pp. 17-19)
The argan - multipurpose tree of Morocco (1992)
Prendergast, Hew D.V. and Walker, Colin C.
Kew Magazine, 9(2) (pp. 76-85)
Aloe dumetorum Mathew & Brandham - a dwarf Kenyan endemic (1991-06)
Walker, Colin C.
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 9(2) (pp. 28-31)
Kleinia (Senecio) anteuphorbium (L.)Haw. - a Moroccan endemic (1991)
Walker, C. C. and Thorburn, M.
Aloe, 28(1) (pp. 18-22)
Pelargonium ceratophyllum L'Herit: the antler-leaved stork's bill (1990-09)
Walker, Colin C.
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 8 (pp. 84-86)
Trichosacme lanata Zucc. - a woolly Mexican asclepiad (1990)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios, 51 (pp. 56-59)
Cussonia paniculata: the mountain cabbage tree (1988-12)
Walker, Colin C.
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 6(4) (pp. 98-100)
xBrachypelia: a novel intergeneric hybrid (1988)
Walker, C. C.
Asklepios, 43 (pp. 83-86)
Pelargonium crassicaule L'Herit (1987)
Walker, C. C.
Aloe, 24(2) (pp. 32-34)
Dischidia - an obscure organism? (1987)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios, 40 (pp. 75-80)
The euphorbias of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (1987)
Walker, Colin C. and Thorburn, Marjorie
The Euphorbia Journal, 4 (pp. 32-47)
More on Dischidia (1986)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios, 38 (pp. 11-13)
Adenia glauca: a 'lump' with an interesting life-style (1985-03)
Walker, Colin C.
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 3(1) (pp. 18-20)
Dischidia: an introduction to asclepiad ant plants (1985)
Walker, C. C.
Asklepios, 35 (pp. 3-11)
Cremnophila nutans: A Sedum under another name? (1984)
Walker, C. C.
British Cactus & Succulent Journal , 2(4) (pp. 100-103)
Sarcostemma: leafless succulent lianas (1983)
Walker, C.C.
Asklepios, 29 (pp. 18-21)
The ciliated Orbea (1983)
Walker, C.C.
Asklepios, 27 (pp. 59-63)
Brachystelma: an introduction and checklist (1982)
Walker, C. C.
Asklepios, 25 (pp. 92-106)
A new name in Brachystelma (1981)
Walker, Colin
Asklepios, 24 (pp. 66-67)
More on Tridentea Haw (1980)
Walker, Colin
Asclepiadaceae, 20 (pp. 7-10)
Aloes – The definitive guide (2011)
Carter, S.; Lavranos, J. J.; Newton, L. E. and Walker, C. C.
ISBN : 9781842464397 | Publisher : Kew Publishing in association with the British Cactus and Succulent Society | Published : London
Foreword (2011)
Walker, Colin
In: Craib, Charles and Lavranos, John eds. The Bushman Candles (x-xi)
ISBN : 978-0-620-48776-4 | Publisher : Penrock Publications | Published : Bryanston, South Africa
Crassulaceae (Umbilicus) (2003)
Walker, Colin
In: Eggli, Urs ed. Crassulaceae. Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (6) (pp. 364-367)
ISBN : 3-540-41965-9 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : Berlin
Oxalidaceae (Oxalis) (2002)
Walker, Colin
In: Eggli, Urs ed. Dicotyledons. Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (pp. 333-336)
ISBN : 3-540-41966-7 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : Berlin
Asteraceae (Baeriopsis) (2002)
Walker, Colin
In: Eggli, Urs ed. Dicotyledons. Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (p 20)
ISBN : 3-540-41966-7, 978-3-540-41966-2 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : Berlin
Bombacaceae (Adansonia, Cavanillesia, Ceiba, Pseudobombax) (2002)
Walker, Colin
In: Eggli, Urs ed. Dicotyledons. Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (4) (pp. 48-52)
ISBN : 3-540-41966-7 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : Berlin
Urticaceae (Laportea, Obetia, Pilea) (2002)
Walker, Colin
In: Eggli, Urs ed. Dicotyledons. Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (4) (pp. 447-450)
ISBN : 3-540-41966-7 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : Berlin
Urticaceae (Laportea, Obetia, Pilea) (2002)
Walker, Colin
In: Eggli, Urs ed. Zweikeimblaettrige Pflanzen (Dicotyledonen).. Sukkulenten-Lexikon (pp. 478-480)
ISBN : 3-8001-3915-4 | Publisher : Verlag Eugen Ulmer | Published : Stuttgart
Dracaenaceae (Cordyline, Dracaena) (2001)
Walker, Colin
In: Eggli, Urs ed. Monocotyledons. Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (1) (pp. 258-261)
ISBN : 3-540-41692-7 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : Berlin
Nolinaceae (Beaucarnea, Calibanus, Dasylirion, Nolina) (2001)
Walker, Colin
In: Eggli, Urs ed. Monocotyledons. Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (1) (pp. 286-292)
ISBN : 3-540-41692-7 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : Berlin
A history of succulent exploration in East and North-East Africa (2004)
Walker, Colin
In : Proceedings of the International Symposium: The Succulent Plants of Eastern Africa: History, Botanical Exploration and Research, (20-22 September 2002, Rome, Italy)

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