Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

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.

Life Chronology

--born in Masham, Yorkshire, England, on 27 February 1862.
--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 Mollusca
--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 D.C.
--1916: receives the David Syme Prize for scientific work in Australasia
--1920: advanced to principal keeper of collections at the Australian Museum
--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.

For Additional Information, See:

--Archives of Natural History, Vol. 15(3) (1988): 269-280.
--Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London, Vol. 17 (1927): 178-182.
--Australian Zoologist, Vol. 4(5) (1926): 289-290.
--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]
--Encyclopedia of Australian Science. [online]

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

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