Roland Victor Norris

Roland Victor Norris (1888 - 28 April 1950, Port Shepstone) was a biochemist and agricultural scientist who worked in India and Sri Lanka. He served as the first agricultural chemist to the government of Madras.

He graduated from Manchester University and worked as an assistant to W.H. Perkin. He then worked at the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine in London. In 1910 he worked with Professor Arthur Harden on yeast fermentation[1][2] and received a D.Sc. from London University. In 1914 he took up the post of Physiological Chemist at the Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory in India. In 1918 he became the first Agricultural Chemist to the government of Madras. From 1924 to 1929 he worked as a professor of biochemistry at the Indian Institute of Science working on a range of agricultural problems including soil fertility, the chemistry of shellac and the spike disease of sandalwood. He moved to Sri Lanka in 1929 where he served as director of the Tea Research Institute.[3]

He was married to Wendy Elizabeth Marie and a daughter, Wendy Elizabeth Anne Jill, was born in Sri Lanka.[4]


Norris' work in England was mostly on glycogen metabolism and yeast fermentation. After moving to India, he worked on a range of topics including human nutrition, soil nutrients and microbiological processes.

  • Harden, Arthur; Norris, Roland V. (1910). "The Fermentation of Galactose by Yeast and Yeast-Juice (Preliminary Communication.)". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. 82 (560): 645–649. doi:10.1098/rspb.1910.0060.
  • McCarrison, Robert; Norris, Rol V (1924). "The Relationship of Rice to Beri-Beri in India". Indian Medical Research Memoirs. 2: 1–87.
  • McCarrison, R.; Newcomb, C.; Viswanath, B.; Norris, R.V. (1927). "The Relation of Endemic Goitre to the Iodine-Content of Soil and Drinking-Water". Indian Journal of Medical Research. 15: 207–46.
  • Thakur, A. K.; Norris, Roland V. (1928). "A bio-chemical study of some soil fungi with special reference to ammonia production". Journal of the Indian Institute of Science. 11: 141.
  • Ayyar; Ramaswami, CV; Perumal, T. S. S.; Norris, Roland V. (1929). "The oxidation of sulphur in suspensions of activated sludge and its influence on the solubilization of mineral phosphates". Journal of the Indian Institute of Science. 11: 85–90. [The inventor of the activated sludge process, Gilbert John Fowler was his predecessor at the Indian Institute of Science]


  1. ^ Harden, Arthur; Norris, Roland Victor (1914). "The Enzymes of Washed Zymin and Dried Yeast (Lebedeff). II. Reductase". Biochemical Journal. 8 (1): 100–106. doi:10.1042/bj0080100. ISSN 0264-6021. PMC 1276550. PMID 16742284.
  2. ^ Harden, Arthur; Norris, Roland Victor (1915). "The Reducing Enzymes of Dried Yeast (Lebedeff) and of Rabbit Muscle". Biochemical Journal. 9 (3): 330–336. doi:10.1042/bj0090330. ISSN 0264-6021. PMC 1258621. PMID 16742381.
  3. ^ Simonsen, J. L. (1950). "Obituary notices: Roland Victor Norris, 1888–1950". J. Chem. Soc.: 2909–2914. doi:10.1039/JR9500002909.
  4. ^ "Nuwara Eliya Birth/Baptism Records Ceylon (Sri Lanka) (N)". Retrieved 2018-06-27.

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