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Biographies - British Isles

Geologists and Related People in Westminster Abbey
Fifteen of the great achievers memorialized in Westminster Abbey are geologists or people closely related to geoscience.

Mary Anning (1799–1847)
"The greatest fossilist the world ever knew," her life story is at the University of California Museum of Paleontology site.

Charles Darwin the Geologist (1809–1882)
A detailed look at the great thinker's field skills in the field, a "rock star" profile by the Geological Society of America.

Maria Ogilvie Gordon (1864–1939)
First woman ever to earn a geology doctorate, Gordon is the subject of a long post on David Bressan's History of Geology blog.

Edmond Halley, Mathematician
The University of Saint Andrews in Scotland includes Halley among its set of great mathematicians. This account has intriguing detail about Halley's feud with Flamsteed, his predecessor as Astronomer Royal.

Catalog of the Scientific Community: Edmond Halley
A systematic treatment by Richard Westfall with details on Halley's finances among much else.

Edmond Halley, The Father of Geophysics
A wide-ranging treatment of Halley's remarkable life (1656-1743) from your About Geology Guide.

Arthur Holmes (1890–1965)
This great English geoscientist, with ideas on deep time and the deep Earth that were generations ahead of his peers, is treated by his biographer Cherry Lewis as a "rock star" in GSA Today.

Sherlock Holmes (1854–??)
From your About Geology Guide, an appreciation of the great detective as a model modern geoscientist.

James Hutton (1726–1797)
The father of modern geology is thoroughly memorialized by a coalition of Scottish and British agencies.

Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895)
The great defender of evolution and early plankton researcher is introduced on the University of California Museum of Paleontology site.

Harold Jeffries (1891–1989)
The English geophysicist who brought his penetrating mathematical mind to problems of the Earth's deep interior. This biography is part of the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.

Andrew Lawson (1861–1952)
Scots-born, Canadian-trained, Lawson made his biggest mark as leader of the official report on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. A "rock star" profile from the GSA.

The Leakey Family
From Time magazine's series on the greatest 100 people of the century comes this frank and personal portrayal of the first family of early-human studies, by fellow and rival Donald Johanson.

Charles Lyell (1797–1875)
The entry from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica for this very influential geologist, reproduced at the Genesis Network site.

Mary Horner Lyell (1808–1873)
The woman who married Sir Charles Lyell was his scientific partner; a biography by Dana Hunter.

John Edward Marr (1857–1933)
The Lancashire Pioneers site praises this English geologist who rose high among Paleozoic specialists.

Hugh Miller (1802–1856)
Deborah Painter introduces this original and romantic Scottish geologist-writer in an article from Fossil News.

A more passionate and rousing site about the sage of Cromarty, maintained by Frieda and Martin Gostwick. Wonderful letters-to-the-editor.

Hugh Miller
Scotland's library agency SLAINTE remembers Miller as the great writer he was.

Richard Owen (1804–1892)
The Englishman who named the dinosaurs, from the University of California Museum of Paleontology site.

Richard Owen, Lancashire Pioneer
A wealth of material is gathered here about Owen's public and private life.

John Playfair (1748–1819)
The Scotsman who singlehandedly put James Hutton's geological theory onto the world stage, making him the midwife of geology, was better known as a mathematician. This biography, at the MacTutor History of Mathematics site, shows the full range of his immense talents.

Keith Runcorn (1922–1995)
A brief biography of this great geophysicist is on the European Geosciences Union site.

Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873)
Establisher of the Cambrian System and Darwin's fieldwork teacher, his life story is at the University of California Museum of Paleontology site.

Nicholas Shackleton (1937-2006)
Shackleton, who made great breakthroughs in climate and ocean science, is commemorated by Cambridge University where he spent his career.

William Smith (1769–1839)
"Strata" Smith, first to map England's geology, laid the foundation of modern geology. From the University of California Museum of Paleontology site.

Mary Somerville (1780–1872)
This extraordinary English woman was a crucial part of the planetary science community of her time as well as an expert mineralogist. This biography from the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive must be read to be believed.

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913)
Darwin's remarkable contemporary and one of the most celebrated scientists of his time is presented in complete detail by Charles Smith of Western Kentucky University.

Peter J. Whybrow (1942–2004)
This British geologist studied the fossils of the Arabian Peninsula and did much to popularize paleontology in his books.

Howel Williams (1898–1980)
A memoir of this pioneering volcanologist by his colleague Alexander McBirney, a "rock star" profile (PDF) from the Geological Society of America.

John Woodward (1665–1728)
The first major figure in English geology, from the Galileo Project site.

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