Thomas Sergeant Hall

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Thomas Sergeant Hall (23 December 1858 – 21 December 1915) was an Australian geologist and biologist, recipient of The Murchison Fund in 1901.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Geology The study of the composition, structure, physical properties, and history of Earths components, and the processes by which they are shaped.

Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can also refer to the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology significantly overlaps all other earth sciences, including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences, and so is treated as one major aspect of integrated earth system science and planetary science.

Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development and evolution. Despite the complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation and extinction of species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis.


Early life

Hall was born in Geelong, the son of Thomas March Hall, a business man in that town but originally from Lincolnshire, England and Elizabeth, née Walshe, from Dublin. Hall was educated at the Geelong Grammar School where he came under the influence of James L. Cuthbertson. He was a junior master at Wesley College in 1879-80, then Hawthorn College and then went to the University of Melbourne, where he took his B.A. degree in 1886 with honours in natural science. This included work in palaeontology under Sir Frederick McCoy. Hall taught for a year at Girton College, Sandhurst (now Bendigo) in 1887, but returned to the university and did a three years' course in biology under Professor Sir Baldwin Spencer.

Geelong City in Victoria, Australia

Geelong is a port city located on Corio Bay and the Barwon River, in the state of Victoria, Australia. Geelong is 75 kilometres (47 mi) south-west of the state capital, Melbourne. It is the second largest Victorian city, with an estimated urban population of 192,393 as of June 2016.

Lincolnshire County of England

Lincolnshire is a county in eastern England, with a long coastline on the North Sea to the east. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders Northamptonshire in the south for just 20 yards (18 m), England's shortest county boundary. The county town is the city of Lincoln, where the county council has its headquarters.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.


Hall took a leading part in the forming of the university science club, and through it met Dr G. B. Pritchard with whom he was later to do valuable work in geology. Hall was a successful director of the Castlemaine school of mines from 1890 to 1893, and in the latter year became lecturer in biology at Melbourne university. Hall held this position until his death but found time for many other activities.

Castlemaine, Victoria City in Victoria, Australia

Castlemaine is a small city in Victoria, Australia, in the goldfields region of Victoria about 120 kilometres northwest by road from Melbourne and about 40 kilometres from the major provincial centre of Bendigo. It is the administrative and economic centre of the Shire of Mount Alexander. The population at the 2016 Census was 6,757. Castlemaine was named by the chief goldfield commissioner, Captain W. Wright, in honour of his Irish uncle, Viscount Castlemaine.

In 1899 Hall published a Catalogue of the Scientific and Technical Periodical Literature in the Libraries of Victoria. A second and enlarged edition, in which he was assisted by Mr E. R. Pitt of the public library, Melbourne, appeared in 1911. He did much valuable work for the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria (president 1901–1903), the Royal Society of Victoria, and the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science. His Victorian Hill and Dale (1909), describing the geology of the country around Melbourne, is a model book of popular science, written without a trace of scientific jargon; there is barely a technical term in its 150 pages. He did not write a large number of papers, but his work on the graptolite rocks of Victoria led to his being made the recipient of The Murchison Fund of the Geological Society of London in 1901. One of his major discoveries was the key to the unravelling of the complex Ordovician sequence.

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria (FNCV) is an Australian natural history and conservation organisation.

Royal Society of Victoria learned society in Victoria, Australia

The Royal Society of Victoria (RSV) is the oldest learned society in the state of Victoria in Australia.


Hall became ill early in 1915, but courageously carried on his work until shortly before his death from chronic nephritis on 21 December 1915. He married Miss Eva Lucie Annie Hill on 21 December 1891, who survived him along with three sons and a daughter. He was given the honorary degree of D.Sc. by Melbourne university in 1908. Dr Hall was a good example of the hard-working man of science, giving much time to matters of routine, and yet contriving to do original and important work in one or more directions. Hall's work with Dr Pritchard on the tertiary fossiliferous strata of Victoria, and his own work on the graptolite rocks of Victoria gives him a permanent place in the history of Australian geology.

Nephritis inflammation of the kidneys

Nephritis is inflammation of the kidneys and may involve the glomeruli, tubules, or interstitial tissue surrounding the glomeruli and tubules.

Doctor of Science, usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D., or D.S., is an academic research degree awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some countries, "Doctor of Science" is the title used for the standard doctorate in the sciences; elsewhere the Sc.D. is a "higher doctorate" awarded in recognition of a substantial and sustained contribution to scientific knowledge beyond that required for a PhD. It may also be awarded as an honorary degree.

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