Thomas William Walker


Thomas William Walker, ONZM (2 July 1916 – 8 November 2010) was an Anglo-New Zealand soil scientist. He was known as "Tom" or "John" or "Johnnie" after the Johnnie Walker brand of whisky, or "The Prof" to students and latterly viewers of Maggie's Garden Show.[1] To his family he was "Baba".[2]

Walker, photographed by Ron Blackmore some time 1952–1966

Born in Shepshed, Leicestershire, he was educated at Loughborough Grammar School and the Royal College of Science. He continued his career at Rothamsted Experimental Station, University of Manchester and for the National Agricultural Advisory Service. In 1952, he emigrated to New Zealand, to become the first professor of soil science at Canterbury Agricultural College. He returned to Britain in 1958, but came back in 1960, to his old job at the soon to be renamed Lincoln College, New Zealand. He retired in 1979, becoming emeritus professor from then until his death in 2010.



  1. ^ "TW Walker -- "The Prof" -- dies, aged 94". Hawke's Bay Today News. NZPA. 16 November 2010. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b "NZ loses its first soil science professor". Living Heritage Tikaka Tuku Iho. Lincoln University (New Zealand). 16 November 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "New Year honours list 2000". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1999. Retrieved 18 August 2019.