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William Thomas Calman

Dr William Thomas Calman CB FRSE FRS FLS (29 December 1871 – 29 September 1952) was a Scottish zoologist, specialising in the Crustacea.[1] From 1927 to 1936 he was Keeper of Zoology at the British Museum (Natural History) (now the Natural History Museum).


He was born in Dundee, the son of Thomas Calman, a music teacher, and Agnes Beatts Maclean.

He studied at the High School of Dundee.[2]

In the scientific societies in Dundee, he met D'Arcy Thompson. He later became Thompson's lab boy, which allowed him to attend lectures at University College, Dundee for free. A. D. Peacock, one of Thompson's successors to the chair of Natural history at Dundee, believed this appointment came about following a letter sent by Calman in 1891 asking Thompson's advice as to applying for a post in Edinburgh.[3] After his graduation with distinction in 1895, he took on a lecturership at the University, where he remained for eight years.[4] When Thompson died, Calman, along with Douglas Young, wrote his obituary notice in the Royal Society of Edinburgh Yearbook.[5]

He later worked at the Natural History Museum, where he was appointed assistant curator of Arachnida in 1904 (replacing Pocock), became assistant curator of Crustacea and Pycnogonida and Keeper of Zoology. In 1909, he wrote the Crustacea section in Lankester's Treatise on Zoology, where he introduced the superorders Eucarida, Peracarida and Hoplocarida as well as the concept of the caridoid facies, a hypothetical ancestral malacostracan. He wrote several of the entries about crustacea for the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. He also established the current division of the Branchiopoda into the four orders Anostraca, Notostraca, Conchostraca and Cladocera. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1921,[1] being the first graduate of the University of Dundee to be so. Calman retired to Tayport in 1936, but returned to teaching during the Second World War at Queen's College, Dundee and St Andrews. He was president of the Quekett Microscopical Club from 1926 to 1928, president of the Linnean Society from 1934 to 1937, and was awarded the Linnean Medal in 1946.

He was awarded CB in 1935. [6] St Andrews University awarded him an honorary doctorate (LLD) in 1937.

He died in Coulsdon in Surrey on 29 September 1952.[7]


  • The Life of Crustacae (1911)
  • The Classification of Animals (1949)

Taxa named by CalmanEdit

Taxa named by W. T. Calman include:[8]


  1. ^ a b H. Graham Cannon (1953). "William Thomas Calman. 1871–1952". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society. The Royal Society. 8 (22): 355–372. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1953.0003. JSTOR 769215.
  2. ^ Isabella Gordon (1954). "Obituary: William Thomas Calman". Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London. 165 (1): 83–85. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.1954.tb00715.x.
  3. ^ "UR-SF 2/12/2/1 Letter, W.T. Calman to [D'Arcy Thompson]". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  4. ^ "William Thomas Calman (1871–1952)". Naturalists. University of Dundee. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  5. ^ "UR-SF 2/12/3/3 Obituary notices of D'Arcy Thompson". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  6. ^ "No. 34166". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1935. p. 3596.
  7. ^ Waterson, C. D.; Shearer, A. Macmillan (2006). Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. p. 151. ISBN 090219884X.
  8. ^ "Authority begins: "Calman" or "(Calman"". WoRMS taxon search. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 1 November 2011.

External linksEdit