Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Murray, Andrew Dickson (Scotland-England 1812-1878)
natural history


Having initially taken up the law, Murray was nearly forty by the time his first scientific paper was published. He quickly established a reputation, however, based largely on his work on Coleoptera and Pacific rim conifer species. Murray attracted attention when he took an active stand against the Darwin-Wallace model of natural selection right from the beginning, but then softened his view to adopt a more general, "inertial," interpretation of the way evolution proceeded. This position informed his one great work on zoogeography in 1866, The Geographical Distribution of Mammals, but to no great advantage. Later in his career Murray turned to economic entomology, becoming an early voice in the discussions as to how far governments should involve themselves in attempts to eradicate pest species.

Life Chronology

--born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 19 February 1812.
--1837-1860: writer to the signet in Edinburgh
--1853: publishes his Catalogue of the Coleoptera of Scotland
--1857: made professor of natural science, New College, Edinburgh
--1857: elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh
--1858-1859: acting president, Botanical Society of Edinburgh; president, Royal Physical Society
--1861: moves to London; made assistant secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society; made a fellow of the Linnean Society of London
--1863: publishes his The Pines and Firs of Japan
--1866: publishes his The Geographical Distribution of Mammals
--1868: joins the scientific committee of the Royal Horticultural Society; begins an economic entomology collection for the Science and Art Department
--1869: travels to St. Petersburg as delegate to a botanical congress
--1873: visits Ontario, Utah and California to report on mining ventures
--1877: appointed scientific director of the Royal Horticultural Society; publishes his Economic Entomology
--dies at Kensington, London, England, on 10 January 1878.

For Additional Information, See:

--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 39 (2004).
--The Times (London) No. 29152 (15 January 1878): 12.

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

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