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Sir Joseph Hooker and the Ross Antarctic Expedition

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Heather Lane.

Please note earlier start time. Doors open at 18:30. A chance to preview the These Rough Notes exhibition.

Michaelmas Term Lecture 4

Sir Joseph Hooker, in many ways the forgotten man in the story of Evolution, was a great scientist, plant collector and explorer. He wrote the Floras of the Antarctic, New Zealand, India and Tasmania with a major introduction to the Flora of Australia. This talk will mainly focus on his participation as Assistant Surgeon and Botanist on board the Erebus, one of two ships on the Ross Antarctic Expedition.

The speaker, Dr Peter Donaldson, has for the past three years been making a major documentary on the life and travels of this great Victorian scientist. Filming has been completed in the Himalayas, the subantarctic Auckland and Campbell islands, Morocco, the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

The talk will chart the gradual development of Hooker’s ideas of Southern Hemisphere plants having evolved from an ancient Antarctic landmass. This was many years before the discovery of continental drift and Gondwanaland.

Peter will also show some of Hooker’s original sketches and type specimens from the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Hooker’ first sketch of Mount Everest which Peter located during his research in the archives at Kew.

This talk is part of the Friends of Scott Polar Research Institute lecture series series.

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