8: Energy Transactions in Homeothermic Animals (1950)


  • Hedley Ralph Marston The University of Adelaide


The Liversidge Research Lecture delivered November 15th, 1950. Reproduced by permission of the Royal Society of New South Wales from J. Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., 1950, 84, 169-183.

"...we shall, no doubt, occasionally catch a glimpse, however faint, of the general laws of energy exchange that operate in living material, and thus be encouraged to add to the pattern of knowledge that is already taking shape."

"I propose to recall for you some of the phenomena associated with the overall energy transactions that take place under conditions of relatively constant temperature in the tissues of homeothermic animals; to seek with you to learn something of the efficiency with which these proceed; and then to view our findings in the light of what is now known of the chemical reactions of intermediary metabolism that give rise to the free energy utilized in the process of living."

Author Biography

Hedley Ralph Marston, The University of Adelaide

Hedley Ralph Marston (1900–1965) went to school at Bordertown, South Australia, with Mark Oliphant, the pre-eminent physicist, later to become Sir Mark. Though for some years a chemistry demonstrator at the University of Adelaide, Marston never received a Bachelor degree – his first degree was an honorary Doctorate from ANU in 1957. At the time of his Liversidge Lecture, he was Chief of the Nutrition Laboratory of the Division of Animal Health at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, later to become the CSIRO), a position he held for the rest of his life.


For additional biographical information, photographic permissions, references and a list of honours, awards and publications, please see pages 2–4 of the transcript.


A footnote is provided:

"I hope to be forgiven also for failing to mention the names of those responsible for the great volume of experimental work drawn on during the preparation of this lecture. To acknowledge even briefly those whose contributions have given form to this subject would call for a catalogue of names that would increase many times the length of this paper."

Hedley Ralph Marston portrait.