Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Harrison, Launcelot (Australia 1880-1928)

Harrison supported himself in business for some years before deciding to switch to a science career. He progressed rapidly, taking a degree with honors at Sydney and then another at Cambridge before joining the war effort as an advisory entomologist to forces in the Middle East, where he did research on ectoparasitic insects. After the war he returned to Sydney, where within four years he had an endowed chair, and was becoming involved in a variety of zoological problems. In the short time he was active before his early death he became known internationally for two lines of research: (1) the use of parasite taxonomy in establishing the phyletic relationships of their hosts, and (2) support for Wegener's ideas on continental drift especially as these suggested explanations for faunal commonalities among the southern continents invoking an Antarctic dispersal route. Harrison's early death was connected to diseases he contracted during his war service.

Life Chronology

--born in Wellington, New South Wales, on 13 July 1880.
--1911: enters University of Sydney
--1911: reads a paper entitled "The Taxonomic Value of Certain Parasites" before the Science Society
--1913: B.Sc., University of Sydney
--1916: B.A., Emmanuel College, Cambridge University
--1916: made advistory entomologist to the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force, eventually rising to the rank of captain
--1918: made lecturer in zoology, University of Sydney
--1920: made acting professor of zoology, University of Sydney
--1920-1923: honorary editor of Australian Zoologist
--1922: obtains the Challis chair, University of Sydney
--1923-1924: president, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
--1923-1928: head of the zoology department, University of Sydney
--1926: president of Section D, Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, Perth
--1927: president, Linnean Society of New South Wales
--1928: publishes "The Composition and Origins of the Australian Fauna, With Special Reference to the Wegener Hypothesis" in the eighteenth Report of the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science
--1928: publishes "Host and Parasite" in the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales
--dies on 20 February 1928.

For Additional Information, See:

--Nature, Vol. 122 (1928): 65-66.
--Trove (National Library of Australia). [online]
--Encyclopedia of Australian Science. [online]
--Australian Zoologist, Vol. 5(2) (1928): 132-137.
--Australian Museum Magazine, Vol. 3(6) (1928): 191-192.

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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