Thimann, Kenneth Vivian

Thimann, Kenneth Vivian

(1904–  ) plant physiologist; born in Ashford, England. He taught in London (1926–30), then came to the U.S.A. to join the California Institute of Technology (1930–35). There, he and Frits Went codiscovered natural auxin, a hormone regulating both growth and its selective inhibition in plants; Thimann also demonstrated auxin-like functions in certain synthetic substances. At Harvard (1935–65), he investigated the physiology of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and forest trees. He published his studies of plant senescence (1980) while at the University of California: Santa Cruz (1965–84).