Jeremy Pickett-Heaps was renowned for his many discoveries in the field of plant cell biology, including the preprophase band of microtubules found in cells about to undergo cell division, or mitosis. Jeremy pointed out the significance of this structure as a predictor of the site of division in higher plant cells. He also conceptualised the microtubule organising centre, thus founding a major field of cell biology research.
Throughout his career, Jeremy made important contributions to our knowledge of microtubule formation and dynamics, as well as the interactions of microtubules with chromosomes in the mitotic spindle during cell division. His seminal findings have paved the way for new hypotheses on the mechanism of mitosis.
Jeremy won a number of awards and honours, both for his research and teaching. In 1974, he received the Darbaker Prize of the Botanical Society of America, and in 2003 he was awarded the Centenary Medal of Australia. He was the author of the book Green Algae: Structure, Reproduction and Evolution in Selected Genera (1975), based on his early research.
Professor Jeremy Pickett-Heaps FRS died on 11 April 2020.