|PALAEONTOLOGIST, BOTANIST (SCOTLAND)|
BORN 29 Feb 1808, Forres, Moray - DIED 31 Jul 1865, London|
CAUSE OF DEATH rheumatic disease of the heart and lungs
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (088/PS (18972))
High Falconer studied natural history in Aberdeen and graduated in 1826. He continued his studies in Edinburgh where R. Graham (1786-1845) and Robert Jameson were his teachers. Jameson also taught Charles Darwin.
In 1830 he was employed as an assistent-surgeon for the British East India Company in Bengal. His description of the fossils from Ava was published and made him known as a scientist in India. From 1832 to 1842 he was Superintendant of the Saharanpur botanical garden. He studied fossil mammals in the Siwalik Hills and concluded that the mammals subject to long periods of evolutionary stasis and short periods of rapid change. This is known as the theory of punctuated equilibrium.
His health forced him to leave India in 1842. He took a large collections of dried plants, fossils and bones with him and travelled through Europe. In 1845 he became a fellow of the Royal Society. In 1847 he became the superintendent of the botanical garden in Calcutta and professor of botany as well. He also advised the Indian government until he left India again in 1855.
The last ten years of his life he studied fossil species and from 1863 to 1864 he was vice-president of the Royal Society. He died in 1865 in London.
Paths of Glory, The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 1997
Hugh Falconer - Wikipedia