Nicholson, Henry Alleyne

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M.D., D.Sc., F.R.S.E., F.G.S.
Chair of Natural History (1871-1874)

Succeeded Professor William Hincks as Chair of Natural History after his passing in 1871. Between the period of 1872 and 1875 Professor Nicholson had 26 publications, focusing mostly on topics within paleontology. He arrived in Toronto at the age of 27, having already accomplished his M.D., D.Sc., F.R.S.E., and F.G.S. He had been a lecturer in Natural History at the University of Edinburgh for two years prior to becoming Chair of Natural History at the University of Toronto. During his time in Ontario, he also performed an investigation into the bottom fauna of Lake Ontario and an examination of Silurian and Devonian fossils.

He has been quoted to say with regards to debates on Darwinism, "Gentlemen, there seems to be some great law of evolution-- that seems undeniable-- but at the same time there are many facts that go to show that there may be some other law modifying the law of evolution..."

In 1875, Nicholson returned to Britain become a professor in at St. Andrews University in Durham until 1882. Following that he worked as a professor at the University of Aberdeen until he passed away in 1899.

Craigie, H.E., (1962). A History of the Department of Zoology of the University of Toronto. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.