Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Williams, C(arrington) B(onsor) (England 1889-1981)

Williams' legacy as a leading field and statistical naturalist of his time is succinctly stated in his Royal Society obituary (p. 677): "His claims to fame lie in the two fields of butterfly migration and statistical synecology. The study of butterfly migration was a passion. By marshalling all existing published observations, recruiting friends all over the world to make careful new observations and analysing the results in a long series of publications he became the authority on the subject. Many of the problems which he formulated in his 1930 book had been clarified by the time of the 1958 book: the relations between wind direction and migration, the existence of return flights, the optomotor response to other moving insects, the cues to orientation offered by the sun and the pattern of polarized light in the sky, and the ability of insects to estimate the time of day." Williams, who at various points was president of the Association of Applied Biologists, the British Ecological Society, and the Royal Entomological Society of London, should also be remembered as one of the pioneers of the study of the measurement of diversity as related to ecological complexity.

Life Chronology

--born in Liverpool, England, on 7 October 1889.
--1911: B.A., Cambridge University
--1911-1916: research scholar at the John Innes Horticultural Institution, Merton
--1912-1918: research and publications on thrips (Thysanoptera)
--1916-1921: sugar cane entomologist in Trinidad
--1921-1927: entomologist for the Ministry of Agriculture, Egypt
--1927-1929: government entomologist in Tanganyika
--1929-1932: lectureship at the University of Edinburgh
--1930: Sc.D., Cambridge University
--1930: publishes his Migration of Butterflies
--1932-1955: head of the entomology department at the Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpendon
--1937: publishes "The Use of Logarithms in the Interpretation of Certain Entomological Problems" in the Annals of Applied Biology
--1943: publishes "Area and Number of Species" in Nature
--1954: made a fellow of the Royal Society
--1958: publishes his Insect Migration
--1964: publishes his Patterns in the Balance of Nature
--dies on 12 July 1981.

For Additional Information, See:

--Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, Vol. 28 (1982): 667-684.
--Annals of Applied Biology, Vol. 100(2) (1982): 413-414.

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

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