Aldo Carl Leopold (December 18, 1919 – November 18, 2009) was an American academic and plant physiologist. His father was Aldo Leopold, renowned ecologist and employee of the United States Forest Service, and his mother was Estella Leopold.
Leopold received a bachelor's degree in botany from the University of Wisconsin in 1941. He enlisted in the Marines during World War II and served in the Pacific as defense counsel in courts-martial for soldiers who were charged with being AWOL. After his discharge, Leopold received MS and PhD degrees in plant physiology from Harvard University, studying under Kenneth Thimann. He worked briefly for the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, and then joined the faculty of Purdue University in 1949. In 1975, he was appointed Graduate Dean and Assistant Vice President for Research at the University of Nebraska. In 1977, Leopold moved to the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI) in Ithaca, New York as William H. Crocker Scientist
Seeds such as soybeans containing very high levels of protein can undergo desiccation, yet survive and revive after water absorption. Leopold began studying this capability at BTI in the mid-1980s. He found soybeans and corn to have a range of soluble carbohydrates protecting the seed's cell viability. Patents were awarded to him in the early 1990s on techniques for protecting "biological membranes" and proteins in the dry state. Using the knowledge gleaned from studying the preservation of proteins in dry soybeans, Leopold developed a method to preserve peptide hormones like insulin in the glassy state so that they can be pulverized into a powder and inhaled by diabetics as an alternative to self-injection.
Leopold's research on soybeans led to techniques that allowed insulin to be dried and later processed into an inhalable insulin, named Exubera by Pfizer. In 2011, it was announced that a form of inhalable insulin, aerosolized insulin, applied deep into the nostrils may delay the onset of Alzheimer.
Leopold was active in science and environmental issues from his retirement in 1990 until his death in 2009. Leopold, along with Ed Oyer, Thomas Eisner, Jim McConkey and Mary Woodson, was a founding member of the Preposthumous Society who together founded Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve. Leopold was the first member of the society to use it.Auxins and Plant Growth (1955, 1960)
Plant Growth and Development (1964, 1975)