Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Wollaston, Thomas Vernon (England 1822-1878)
entomology, malacology

Wollaston was a very prominent entomologist and malacologist in his time, becoming especially known for his studies on variation in species (especially Coleoptera) inhabiting several North Atlantic archipelagoes. He was well-placed socially and counted many important naturalists, including Charles Darwin (who made frequent use of Wollaston's findings in his own writings), as intimates. Wollaston in fact published a work in 1856 which hinted at transmutationist ideas, but his religious beliefs effectively prevented him from supporting Darwin's theories after 1859. Wollaston's biogeographical leanings included support for the theory that continental lands had once extended outward farther to encompass some of the island groups he studied.

Life Chronology

--born in Scotter, Lincolnshire, England, on 9 March 1822.
--1845: B.A., Jesus College, Cambridge
--1847: made a fellow of the Linnean Society
--1847-1848: winters in Madeira
--1849: M.A., Jesus College, Cambridge
--1854: publishes his Insecta Maderensia
--1855: makes the last of four trips to the Madeiran archipelago; British Museum purchases his collection of Madeiran Coleoptera
--1856: publishes his On the Variation of Species, with Especial Reference to the Insecta
--1858: investigates natural history of the Canary Islands with Richard Thomas Lowe and John Gray
--1859: returns to the Canary Islands with Lowe
--1865: publishes his Coleoptera Atlantidum
--1866: visits the Cape Verde Islands with Lowe and Gray
--1875: visits the island of St. Helena with his wife, and Gray
--dies at Teignmouth, Devon, England, on 4 January 1878.
--1878: posthumously publishes his Testacea Atlantica

For Additional Information, See:

--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 59 (2004).
--Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, Vol. 14 (1877-1878): 213-215.
--Archives of Natural History, Vol. 22 (1995): 333-348.
--Nature, Vol. 17 (1878): 210.

*                 *                 *                 *                 *

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

Return to Home/Alphabetical Listing by Name
Return to Listing by Country
Return to Listing by Discipline