Famous British Geologists

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 1 
Charles Darwin
(Naturalist known for His Contributions to Evolutionary Biology)
Charles Darwin
10
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Mount House, Shrewsbury, England
Died: April 19, 1882

Widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the history of mankind, Charles Darwin was an English biologist, naturalist, and geologist. He is credited with publishing the Theory of Evolution, which explains the evolution of life from a unicellular organism to human beings. A prolific writer, Charles Darwin also wrote important books on plants and barnacles.

 2 
Charles Lyell
4
Birthdate: November 14, 1797
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Angus
Died: February 22, 1875

Charles Lyell was a Scottish geologist best remembered for his work Principles of Geology, which explains the origin of the earth. He is also remembered for his pioneering explanation of climate change. A close friend of Charles Darwin, Charles Lyell is also credited with influencing many of Darwin's works pertaining to the theories of evolution.  

 3 
James Hutton
(Geologist)
James Hutton
4
Birthdate: June 3, 1726
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: March 26, 1797

The pioneer of modern geology, James Hutton laid down the principle of uniformitarianism in geology. While he was initially interested in chemistry, he had later also studied law and had then moved on to medicine. His iconic Theory of the Earth explained the science behind rock formations.

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 4 
William Buckland
(English Theologian, Palaeontologist, and Geologist Who Wrote the First Full Account of a Dinosaur Fossil)
William Buckland
4
Birthdate: March 12, 1784
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Axminster, Devon, England
Died: August 14, 1856

William Buckland was an English theologian, palaeontologist, and geologist. He is best remembered for his service as the Dean of Westminster. He is credited with writing the first full account of a dinosaur fossil, which he named Megalosaurus. William Buckland pioneered the usage of fossilized faeces to reconstruct ecosystems. Buckland was the recipient of the prestigious Copley Medal.

 5 
Arthur Holmes
(English Geologist Who Pioneered the Usage of Radiometric Dating of Minerals)
Arthur Holmes
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gateshead
Died: September 20, 1965

Arthur Holmes was an English geologist who pioneered the usage of radiometric dating of minerals. He was the first earth scientist to fully understand the thermal and mechanical implications of mantle convection. Arthur Holmes is also remembered for his advocacy of the theory of continental drift. Holmes was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Penrose Medal.

 6 
John Needham
(British Naturalist, Biologist, and Clergyman Who Supported the 'Theory of Spontaneous Generation')
John Needham
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1713
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 30, 1781

British naturalist and biologist John Needham was also a Roman Catholic priest who became the first Catholic clergyman to be named a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. He supported the theories of spontaneous generation and vitalism. He also served the Imperial Academy in Brussels as its director.

 7 
William Smith
(Pioneering British Geologist Who Created the World's First Detailed Country Map)
William Smith
3
Birthdate: March 23, 1769
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Churchill
Died: August 28, 1839

British geologist William Smith, who is regarded as the Father of English Geology, is remembered for developing the science of stratigraphy. His geologic map of England and Wales was the world’s first nationwide and detailed geologic map. He was also the recipient of the first Wollaston Medal.

 8 
Gideon Mantell
(British Geologist and Palaeontologist)
Gideon Mantell
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1790
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lewes, Sussex, England
Died: November 10, 1852

Gideon Mantell was a British geologist, obstetrician, and palaeontologist. Mantell's attempt to reconstruct the structure of Iguanodon started the scientific study of dinosaurs. He is also credited with discovering the first fossil teeth of Iguanodon. Subsequently, Gideon Mantell went on to discover and identify much of the skeleton of Iguanodon.

 9 
Adam Sedgwick
(Geologist)
Adam Sedgwick
3
Birthdate: March 22, 1785
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dent
Died: January 27, 1873

Adam Sedgwick was a British Anglican priest and geologist. He is credited with guiding and mentoring Charles Darwin during his early years. However, Sedgwick went on to oppose Darwin's theory of evolution. The world's oldest student-run geological society, The Sedgwick Club, was established in his honor in 1880.

 10 
William Withering
(British Botanist, Geologist, Chemist and Physician Best Known for His Use of Extracts of Foxglove to Treat Dropsy)
William Withering
3
Birthdate: March 17, 1741
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wellington, Shropshire, England
Died: October 6, 1799

Born to a surgeon, William Withering followed in his father’s footsteps to become a physician, though he also had immense knowledge of botany, geology, and chemistry. He not only treated edema, or dropsy, with the help of the foxglove plant but also studied scarlet fever and suggested rum as a medical substitute.

 11 
William Hopkins
(Mathematician, Geologist)
William Hopkins
3
Birthdate: February 2, 1793
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston on Soar
Died: October 13, 1866

William Hopkins was an English geologist and mathematician. He is remembered for serving as a private tutor of prospective undergraduate Cambridge mathematicians, which earned him the nickname senior-wrangler maker. Hopkins also played first-class cricket and was associated with Cambridge University Cricket Club. He had an unfortunate end to his life as he spent his final years in a lunatic asylum.

 12 
Ralph Alger Bagnold
(English Desert Explorer, Soldier, and Geologist)
Ralph Alger Bagnold
3
Birthdate: April 3, 1896
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Plymouth, England
Died: May 28, 1990

Ralph Alger Bagnold was an English desert explorer, soldier, and geologist. His work and contribution to the field of Aeolian processes have been used by NASA to study the terrain of Mars. In 1935, Ralph Alger Bagnold was honored by the Royal Geographical Society with the prestigious Founder's Medal.

 13 
Edward Bullard
(Geophysicist)
Edward Bullard
2
Birthdate: September 21, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: April 3, 1980

A pioneer of marine geophysics, geophysicist Edward Bullard was best known for his work on geodynamo and seismology and was a professor at the University of Cambridge. Initially a nuclear physicist, he switched to geophysics to find a lucrative job during the Great Depression. He was eventually knighted for his achievements.

 14 
Joseph Thomson
(British Geologist and Explorer Who Made Pioneering Explorations of Eastern Africa)
Joseph Thomson
2
Birthdate: February 14, 1858
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Penpont, Scotland,England
Died: August 2, 1895

British explorer and geologist Joseph Thomson was the first European to enter a large part of eastern Africa. His exploration eventually led to the mass colonization of Africa, known as the Scramble for Africa. He secured British mining and trade rights in Africa. Thomson’s gazelle is a type of east-African gazelle named after him.

 15 
Robert Bruce Foote
(British Geologist and Archaeologist Who Conducted Pioneering Research on the Prehistory of India)
Robert Bruce Foote
3
Birthdate: September 22, 1834
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cheltenham,England
Died: December 29, 1912

British geologist and archaeologist Robert Bruce Foote is remembered for his pioneering contribution to the study of the prehistory of India. He was in his early 20s when he joined the Geological Survey of India and soon made many discoveries, including that of the first Paleolithic hand axe in India.

 16 
John Milne
(British Geologist and Mining Engineer Who Developed the Modern Seismograph)
John Milne
2
Birthdate: December 30, 1850
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: July 31, 1913

John Milne was a British mining engineer and geologist. He is credited with co-founding the Seismological Society of Japan which raised money for the invention of seismographs. John Milne and his team went on to invent the horizontal pendulum seismograph which allowed him to detect various kinds of earthquake waves.

 17 
John Stevens Henslow
(British Priest, Botanist and Geologist Best Remembered as Friend and Mentor to His Pupil 'Charles Darwin')
John Stevens Henslow
3
Birthdate: February 6, 1796
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rochester, Kent, England
Died: May 16, 1861

John Stevens Henslow was not just a priest but also revolutionized the teaching methods of botany at Cambridge University. One of his students was legendary naturalist Charles Darwin. He also co-founded the Cambridge Philosophical Society and explored various regions, such as the Isle of Man, as a geologist.

 18 
Henry De la Beche
(English Palaeontologist and Geologist)
Henry De la Beche
2
Birthdate: February 10, 1796
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 13, 1855

Henry De la Beche was an English palaeontologist and geologist. He is best remembered for his association with the Geological Survey of Great Britain, where he served as the first director. He was also associated with the Palaeontographical Society, where he was the first president. Henry De la Beche helped develop early geological survey methods.

 19 
John Evans
(English Geologist and Archaeologist)
John Evans
2
Birthdate: November 17, 1823
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Burnham, England
Died: May 31, 1908

John Evans was an English geologist and archaeologist. He is best remembered for his service as the president of several prestigious institutions and societies, including the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Numismatic Society, the Geological Society of London, and the British Association for the Advancement of Science. John Evans also wrote papers on geological and archaeological subjects.

 20 
Henry Nicholas Ridley
(British Botanist, Geologist and Naturalist Known for Establishing the Rubber Industry in the 'Malay Peninsula')
Henry Nicholas Ridley
2
Birthdate: December 10, 1855
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harling, England
Died: October 24, 1956

English botanist Henry Nicholas Ridley is best remembered for his contribution to the cultivation of rubber in the Malay peninsula. His passion to achieve his goal earned him the nickname Mad Ridley. Of his written works, one of the most significant was the 5-volume Flora of the Malay Peninsula.

Sir Nicholas John Shackleton
2
Birthdate: June 23, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 24, 2006
 22 
Richard Dixon Oldham
2
Birthdate: July 31, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: July 15, 1936

British geologist Richard Dixon Oldham made ground-breaking discoveries in the field of seismology and was also the first to discover the proof of the existence of the Earth’s core. His pioneering studies include his work on the 1897 Assam earthquake in India. He was named a Fellow of The Royal Society.

 23 
William Conybeare
2
Birthdate: June 7, 1787
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 12, 1857
 24 
Keith Runcorn
(Physicist)
Keith Runcorn
2
Birthdate: November 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Southport, England
Died: December 5, 1995
 25 
Charles Lapworth
(Geologist)
Charles Lapworth
2
Birthdate: September 20, 1842
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Faringdon, England
Died: March 13, 1920
 26 
Henry Clifton Sorby
2
Birthdate: May 10, 1826
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sheffield, England
Died: March 9, 1908
 27 
Drummond Matthews
2
Birthdate: February 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Porlock, England
Died: July 20, 1997
 28 
Alexander Ross Clarke
2
Birthdate: December 16, 1828
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Reading, England
Died: February 11, 1914
George Julius Poulett Scrope
1
Birthdate: March 10, 1797
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: January 19, 1876
 30 
George Bellas Greenough
(Geologist, Politician)
George Bellas Greenough
0
Birthdate: January 18, 1778
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: April 2, 1855
 31 
Mary Horner Lyell
0
Birthdate: October 9, 1808
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Pancras, London, England
Died: April 24, 1873
 32 
Kenneth Oakley
(British Anthropologist, Palaeontologist and Geologist Known for His Work in the Relative Dating of Fossils by Fluorine Content)
Kenneth Oakley
1
Birthdate: April 7, 1911
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England
Died: November 2, 1981
Kenneth Oakley was an English physical anthropologist, palaeontologist and geologist known for his work in the relative dating of fossils by fluorine content. He was instrumental in the exposure of the Piltdown Man hoax in 1950s. Oakley's famous books include Man the Toolmaker (1949), Frameworks for Dating Fossil Man (1964), and Relative Dating of the Fossil Hominids of Europe (1980).
 33 
William Pengelly
(Geologist)
William Pengelly
1
Birthdate: January 12, 1812
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Looe, England
Died: March 16, 1894
 34 
Charles William Peach
1
Birthdate: September 30, 1800
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wansford, England
Died: February 28, 1886
 35 
Robert Legget
(Civil engineer)
Robert Legget
0
Birthdate: September 29, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: April 17, 1994

A prominent force behind the Canadian National Building Code, Robert Legget was not just a civil engineer but also a talented author. He also initially taught soil mechanics and engineering, and penned books such as Ottawa Waterway. He was also made the Companion of the Order of Canada.

 36 
Herbert Harold Read
1
Birthdate: December 17, 1889
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Whitstable, England
Died: March 29, 1970
 37 
William Joscelyn Arkell
1
Birthdate: June 9, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Highworth, England
Died: April 18, 1958
 38 
Cecil Edgar Tilley
(Petrologist)
Cecil Edgar Tilley
1
Birthdate: May 14, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Unley, Australia
Died: January 24, 1973
 39 
John Jeremiah Bigsby
0
Birthdate: August 14, 1792
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nottingham, England
Died: February 10, 1881
 40 
William Lonsdale
(Geologist)
William Lonsdale
0
Birthdate: September 9, 1794
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bath, England
Died: November 11, 1871