Henry Alleyne Nicholson

Henry Alleyne Nicholson bigraphy, stories - Zoologists

Henry Alleyne Nicholson : biography

11 September 1844 – 4 January 1899

Henry Alleyne Nicholson (11 September 1844–19 January 1899) was a British palaeontologist and zoologist.

The son of Dr. John Nicholson, a biblical scholar, was born at Penrith, Cumbria on 11 September 1844. He was educated at Appleby Grammar School and at the universities of Göttingen (Ph.D., 1866) and Edinburgh (D.Sc., 1867; M.D., 1869). Geology had early attracted his attention, and his first publication was a thesis for his D.Sc. degree titled On the Geology of Cumberland and Westmoreland (1868).

In 1871 he was appointed professor of natural history in the University of Toronto; in 1874 professor of biology in the Durham College of Science and in 1875 professor of natural history in the University of St. Andrews. This last post he held until 1882, when he became Regius Professor of natural history in the University of Aberdeen.

He was elected F.R.S. in 1897. His original work was mainly on fossil invertebrata (graptolites, stromatoporoids and corals); but he did much field work, especially in the Lake District, where he labored in company with Professor Robert Harkness and afterwards with Dr. John Edward Marr. He was awarded the Lyell Medal by the Geological Society in 1888. He died at Aberdeen on 19 January 1899.

During his career he published 167 papers, usually as the sole author, and 12 textbooks. A revised version of Professor Nicholson’s work The Ancient Life History of the Earth was re-published by eminent paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould in 1980.


File:Nummulites pyramid).jpg|Piece of Nummulitic Limestone from the Great Pyramid, Ancient Life-History of the Earth