Sir Richard Southwood
|Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford|
10 June 1989 –8 February 1993
|Chancellor||The Lord Jenkins of Hillhead|
|Preceded by||The Lord Neill of Bladen|
|Succeeded by||Sir Peter North|
|Born||20 June 1931|
|Died||26 October 2005 74)(aged|
|Awards|| Linnean Medal (1988)|
Fellow of the Royal Society
Sir Thomas Richard Edmund Southwood GOM DL FRS (20 June 1931 – 26 October 2005)was a British biologist, Professor of Zoology and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford. A specialist on entomology, he developed the field of insect ecology and the development of study techniques. He wrote a landmark textbook on Ecological Methods that went into numerous editions. He also was well known for developing the field of entomology through mentorship of a circle of researchers at Silwood Park.
Southwood was born in Marlborough Cottage in Northfleet near Gravesend where his father's family dealt in farm and dairy products. In 1935 the family moved to Parrock Manor. His parents encouraged his interest in natural history. Richard became interested in natural history at an early age, and developed his skills on the family dairy farm in Kent; he had his first research article on sunbathing in birds in British Birds when he was fifteen and about insects published in the Entomologist's Monthly Magazine when he was a year older. His father had received some education at the Wye College. Other early influences included Tom Longstaff. He was educated at Bronte School, Gravesend Grammar School and Imperial College London BSc in biology, MSc botany, then worked for his PhD degree in zoology studies at Rothamsted Experimental Station. He returned to Imperial as a Research Assistant and lecturer, and in 1967 became Head of the Department of Zoology and Applied Entomology, and Director of Imperial College's Field Station at Silwood Park. He later became Dean of Science and Chair of the Division of Life Sciences.
Southwood's research at Imperial concentrated on insect communities and population dynamics. His 1966 book Ecological Methods described techniques available for the study of populations and ecosystems, including population estimates with different sampling techniques.
In 1979, he took up the Linacre Chair of Zoology in the University of Oxford, and was elected a Fellow of Merton College. In 1989, he moved from being Head of the Department of Zoology to take up the Vice-Chancellorship of the University,from which position he set up a working party that would recommend the reform of the university's governance. Having stepped down from that position in 1993, he continued to research, teach and write, and in 2003 published The Story of Life, a book based on the first-year undergraduate lectures he gave at Oxford.
Southwood served as Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution from 1981 to 1985, having been first appointed to the Commission in 1974. Under his chairmanship, the 1983 report Lead in the Environment aroused public concern about lead pollution. He was Chairman of the National Radiological Protection Board from 1985 until 1994, and also chaired the Working Party on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) set up by the British Government in 1988. In 1993–1994 he was the first head of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at the Central European University in Budapest.
Southwood was also a contributing member of the Oxford Round Table, an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of contemporary issues.
A portrait of Sir Richard Southwood hangs at Merton College, Oxford.
Sir Richard Southwood married, in 1955, Alison Langley (née Harden) who he met at Rothamsted; Sir Richard and Lady Southwood had two sons and six grandchildren.
Rothamsted Research, previously known as the Rothamsted Experimental Station and then the Institute of Arable Crops Research, is one of the oldest agricultural research institutions in the world, having been founded in 1843. It is located at Harpenden in the English county of Hertfordshire and is a registered charity under English law.
Frank Yates FRS was one of the pioneers of 20th century statistics.
William Kirby was an English entomologist, an original member of the Linnean Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society, as well as a country rector, so that he was an eminent example of the "parson-naturalist". He is considered the "founder of entomology".
Sir Derek Harold Richard Barton was an English organic chemist and Nobel Prize laureate for 1969.
Sir Alister Clavering Hardy was an English marine biologist, an expert on marine ecosystems spanning organisms from zooplankton to whales.
Sir John William Sutton Pringle was a British zoologist. His research interests were in insect physiology, especially proprioception, flight muscle, and cicada song.
Augustus Daniel Imms FRS was an English educator, research administrator and entomologist. An influential textbook of entomology that he first wrote went into several editions during his life and was updated posthumously with Imms' General Textbook of Entomology last being published in 1977 as a 10th edition.
Robert "Robin" John Tillyard FRS was an English–Australian entomologist and geologist.
Sir Edward John Russell was a British soil chemist, agriculture scientist, and director of Rothamsted Experimental Station from 1912 to 1943. He was responsible for hiring R.A. Fisher for statistical research at Rothamsted. Driven by concerns over a lack of international information exchange about agriculture, he initiated the Imperial Agricultural Bureaux, which later became the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux.
Michael Patrick Hassell is a British biologist, noted for his work in population ecology, especially in insects. He is a professor at Imperial College London.
The position of Linacre Professor of Zoology at the University of Oxford was founded in 1860, initially as the Linacre Professorship of Physiology and then as the chair of Human and Comparative Anatomy, although its origins can be traced back a further 300 years, to the Linacre Lectureships at Merton College. The post is attached to a fellowship at Merton.
Sir Alfred Daniel Hall, FRS, sometimes known as Sir Daniel Hall was a British agricultural educationist and researcher who founded the Wye College in Kent.
Edmund Murton Walker was a Canadian entomologist. He described the genus Grylloblatta in 1914 which he then considered as a member of the Orthoptera and later placed it in a separate order Grylloblattodea but which are now included in the order Notoptera.
Silwood Park is the rural campus of Imperial College London, England. It is situated near the village of Sunninghill, near Ascot in Berkshire. Since 1986, there have been major developments on the site with four new college buildings. Adjacent to these buildings is the Technology Transfer Centre: a science park with units leased to commercial companies for research.
Robert Cyril Layton Perkins FRS was a distinguished British entomologist, ornithologist, and naturalist noted for his work on the fauna of the islands of Hawaii and on Hymenoptera. He is not to be confused with his son John Frederick Perkins, also a hymenopterist.
John Anthony Pickett CBE DSc FRS is a British chemist who is noted for his work on insect pheromones.
Sir Richard Oswald Chandler Norman, was a British chemist.
Owain Westmacott Richards FRS was a British entomologist and ecologist who worked as Professor of Zoology and Applied Entomology, Imperial College, London, based at Silwood Park, and an editor of the Journal of Animal Ecology.
Simon Iain Hay, is a British epidemiologist. He is Professor for Global Health at the University of Washington and Director of Geospatial Science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). From 2013-2015 he served as the 52nd President of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Lord Neill of Bladen
| Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University |
Sir Peter North