Charles Wyville Thomson (1830 - 1882):
Charles Thomson was born in Linlithgowshire, Scotland, and educated at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh, and the University of Edinburgh. He was appointed a lecturer in Botany at the University of Aberdeen in 1851, and two years later Professor of Natural History in Queen's College, Cork. In 1854 he became Professor of Geology in Queen's College, Belfast, where, in 1860, he also became Professor of Botany and Zoology. He published work on fossils and as a consequence became interested in oceanography. He returned to Edinburgh in 1870 to become Professor of Natural History at the university and undertook several scientific deep-sea explorations that he recounted in The Depths of the Sea. He was director of the scientific staff on the Challenger expedition, which, between 1872 and 1876, explored sixty-nine thousand miles of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Fifty volumes of reports were published as a result. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1876 was knighted.
||5 March 1830
||10 March 1882