George Edward Dobson

George Edward Dobson FRS FLS FZS (4 September 1848 at Edgeworthstown, County Longford, Ireland – 26 November 1895) was an Irish zoologist, photographer and army surgeon. He took a special interest in bats, describing many new species, and some species have been named after him.

George Edward Dobson
Born4 September 1848 (1848-09-04)
Edgeworthstown, County Longford, Ireland
26 November 1895 (1895-11-27) (aged 47)
Scientific career


Dobson was the eldest son of Parke Dobson [1][2] and was educated at the Royal School Enniskillen and then at Trinity College, Dublin.[1] He gained the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in 1866, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Master of Surgery in 1867 and Master of Arts in 1875.[1][2][3]

He became an army surgeon after 1867 serving in India and rose to the position of surgeon major.[4] In 1868 he visited the Andaman Islands, collecting zoological specimens for the Indian Museum along with Wood-Mason,[5] and in May 1872 he made ethnological and photographic studies of the Andamanese peoples.[6]

Around 1878, he became curator of the Royal Victoria Museum at Netley.[7]


Dobson was an expert on small mammals, especially bats ( the Chiroptera) and Insectivora. He was a member of several scientific societies, the Royal Society (elected 1883), the Linnean Society of London and the Zoological Society of London. He was a corresponding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and of the Biological Society of Washington.[8]


  • Catalogue of the Chiroptera in Collection of British Museum (1878)
  • Monograph of the Asiatic Chiroptera (1876)
  • A Monograph of the Insectivora, systematic and anatomical (three parts, John Van Voorst, Londres, 1882-1890.

In addition Dobson also contributed to the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica where he wrote the accounts about the vampyre bats, the moles and the shrews.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Proceedings of the Royal Society. Volume 59. p 15. Royal Society. 1896
  2. ^ a b Obituary. British Medical Journal.1895 November 30; 2(1822): 1392
  3. ^ Ormsby, Lambert Hepenstal (1888). Medical history of the Meath Hospital and County Dublin Infirmary. Dublin: Fannin and Co. p. 360.
  4. ^ Bohan, Rob; Lunney, Linde (2009). "Dobson, George Edward". In McGuire, J.; Quinn, J. (eds.). Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  5. ^ Ball, V. (1872). "Notes on the collection of birds made in the Andaman Islands by Asst. Surgeon G. E. Dobson during the months April and May, 1868". J. Asiat. Soc. Beng. 41 (2): 273–290.
  6. ^ Dobson, G. E. (1875). "On the Andamans and Andamanese". The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 4: 457–467. doi:10.2307/2840987. ISSN 0959-5295.
  7. ^ Hugh Chisholm: The Encyclopædia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information (1910-1922) p. VIII
  8. ^ New York Times Obituary: George Edward Dobson dead. 26 November 1895
  9. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1901). "Dobson, George Edward" . Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). 2. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

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