(1822–67), born Aberdeen, Scotland, studied medicine and zoology before accepting, in 1842, an appointment as assistant naturalist in HMS Fly on a surveying voyage to Australia and New Guinea. He spent three years with the Fly, assiduously collecting specimens whenever the ship anchored off the coast. He joined as naturalist, assisted by T.H. Huxley and James Fowler Wilson, another surveying voyage to Australia in HMS Rattlesnake 1847–50. His work in the natural history and exploration of Australia is recorded in his Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Rattlesnake (1852). In 1853 he again visited Australia and the Pacific as naturalist on HMS Herald and subsequently spent some years in Sydney before in 1864 settling at Grafton, where he continued his work in natural science.
From The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature in Oxford Reference.