Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Hedley, Charles (England-Australia 1862-1926)
After moving away from England
in 1881 because of an asthma problem, Charles Hedley tried several kinds
of work in New Zealand and Australia before getting himself involved in
natural history studies at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane. He subsequently
moved over to the Australian Museum in Sydney, where he slowly worked
his way up the chain of command. Hedley's main speciality was the taxonomy
of molluscs, and he spent as much time in the field collecting specimens
as a variety of ailments permitted. As one obituary noted, "He studied
and wrote with equal ability and enthusiasm on the Mollusca, whether from
the anatomical, the conchological, or the systematic standpoint; he was
equally an authority on beach ecology, on the rules of nomenclature, and
on the uses of shells by native tribes." This interest extended to biogeographical
considerations as well, where Hedley attempted to explain distribution
patterns of South Pacific molluscs on the basis of his "Melanesian Plateau"
model, hypothesizing (earlier on) agency through the past existence of
a now-sunken continent, or (later on) various extensions of Antarctica
to the same effect.
--born in Masham, Yorkshire, England, on 27 February
--1881: tries sheep farming in New Zealand
--1882: moves to Queensland, Australia
--1882-1888: tries his hand at oyster and fruit farming, but suffers an
accident to his elbow precluding further physical work
--1888: begins volunteering at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane
--1889: joins the permanent staff at the Queensland Museum; becomes honorary
secretary of the Royal Society of Queensland
--1891: joins the staff of the Australian Museum in Sydney
--1896: member of the Royal Society of London's Funafuti Atoll reef boring
expedition; promoted to conchologist at the Australian Museum
--1897: collects in New Caledonia
--1900: publishes the first two parts of his Studies on Australian
--1902: collects along the northern coast of Australia
--1908: made assistant curator at the Australian Museum
--1912: lengthy working trip to England, France, Switzerland, and Washington
--1916: receives the David Syme Prize for scientific work in Australasia
--1920: advanced to principal keeper of collections at the Australian
--1924-1925: working vacation in Africa
--1925: resigns from the Australian Museum and is made scientific director
of the Great Barrier Reef Investigation Committee; receives the Royal
Society of New South Wales' Clarke Memorial Medal
--dies at Sydney, Australia, on 14 September 1926.
--Archives of Natural History, Vol. 15(3)
--Proceedings of the Malacological Society
of London, Vol. 17 (1927): 178-182.
--Australian Zoologist, Vol. 4(5) (1926):
--Nature, Vol. 118(2979) (1926): 811-812.
--Proceedings of the Linnean Society of
New South Wales, Vol. 61 (1936): 209-220.
--Proceedings of the Royal Society of New
South Wales 1967-1968 (1969): 26-31.
--Trove (National Library of Australia). [online]
of Australian Science. [online]
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All