George Edward Dobson

George Edward Dobson

George Edward Dobson was an Irish zoologist, photographer, and army surgeon who was born on September 4, 1848, in Edgeworthstown, County Longford, Ireland, and died on November 26, 1895, in West Malling, Kent, England, at the age of 47[1][2][3][4][5][7]. He was the eldest son of Parke Dobson, a doctor in Edgeworthstown, and Jane Brock or van den Brock, who was the daughter of Andrew Brock of Longford[3]. Dobson was educated at the Royal School, Enniskillen, and Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1866, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Master of Surgery in 1867, and Master of Arts in 1875[1][3][4].

Illustrative stock photo
Illustrative stock photo

Dobson was an expert on small mammals, especially bats (the Chiroptera) and Insectivora[1][2][3][4][5][7]. He took a special interest in bats, describing many new species, and some species have been named after him[1][2][4]. After his medical training, in 1868, Dobson was posted as an Army Surgeon in Calcutta. He held this post for twenty years until he retired in 1888 as a Surgeon Major[2]. He began working on two groups of mammals, bats (Chiroptera) and insectivores (Insectivora), and in 1871 published his first paper ‘On four new Species of Malayan Bats from the Collection of Dr Stoliczka’ in the Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal[2].

Dobson was a member of several scientific societies, including the Royal Society (elected 1883), the Linnean Society of London, and the Zoological Society of London[1][3][4][5][7]. He was a corresponding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and of the Biological Society of Washington[1][3]. At the time of his death, Dobson was a Fellow of the Royal Society, member of the Zoological Society of London, and a corresponding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and of the Biological Society of Washington[2].

Dobson’s works include Catalogue of the Chiroptera in Collection of British Museum (1878) and Monograph of the Asiatic Chiroptera (1876) [1][2][4]. He also worked on an ambitious Monograph of the insectivora, systematic and anatomical, and published sections between 1882 and 1890, but it was unfinished at the time of his death[3]. Dobson died on November 26, 1895, at his home, Malling Place, West Malling, Kent, and was buried on November 29 at West Malling[7].