Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911)

British botanist, confidant of Darwin and friend of Gray and Huxley. Son of the eminent botanist William Hooker, who preceeded him as director of Kew Gardens. As a young man he served under the famous explorer James Clark Ross during an expedition to the South Seas. He later was involved in planning the 1873-1876 H.M.S. Challenger oceanographic survey. Only he and Lyell were shown Darwin's essay of 1844. His studies of variation in plants just before publication of the Origin broke ground for the theory of evolution. Hooker took part in the 1860 debate at the Oxford BAAS meeting, impressing some observers as having argumed even more successfully than Huxley in favor of Darwin's theory. Jim Endersby maintains a useful Hooker web site at Cambridge University.

Hooker in the 1850's. From Bowler 1990, p. 96 (copyright owned by the National Portrait Gallery).

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