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Naturalists' Society

Cymdeithas Naturiaethwr



Professor James Brough D.Sc., F.R.S.E (?-1988) 83rd President

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Brough's honours degree, from Armstrong College, Newcastle upon Tyne, was in geology which led to some surprise when hw was appointed professor of zoology and comparative anatomy in University College, Cardiff, to follow late Prof. Walter Medley Tattersall 58th President in 1944. he held the post for 25 years until his retirement in 1969

He had taught in Manchester and Edinburgh and was a specialist in the evolutionary history of the bony fishes and travelled far and wide, adding to his material by collecting in South Africa and Rhodesia, in the Austrian Alps, in northern Italy and in Spitsbergen as well as studying in London and Edinburgh, in Stockholm, Paris, Frankfurt and Milan. During the War, he had assisted the Ministry of Food by acting as insect infestation inspector for the south-east district of Scotland.

He had been a member of the Manchester Literary and Philospohical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh so it was only Natural for him to join the premier scientific society of the area when he came to Cardiff.

Some of his papers from his early years are: -

  1. On Fossil Fishes from the Karroo System, and some General Considerations on the Bouy Fishes of the Triassic Period - Proceedings Of The Zoological Society Of London Volume 101, Issue 1, April 1931,
  2. On the Structure of certain Catopterid Fishes - Proceedings Of The Zoological Society Of London, Volume 104, Issue 3, September 1934,
  3. On The Evolution Of Bony Fishes During The Triassic Period - Biological Reviews, Volume 11, Issue 3 July 1936

It is often said that "behind every great man there is a great woman", and as has already been shown in these pages the presidentls ladies (wives and daughters) have been as sucessful academically and have contributed as much to the society and to science as each other. This is no more evident than in the brough family where both Margaret and James Brough held a number of posts within the society and they both also published scientific papers [both individually and together] including

Brough, M. C. & Brough, J. 1967. Studies on early tetrapods. I. The Lower Carboniferous microsaurs. II. Microbrachis, the type microsaur. III. The genus Gephyrostegus. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 252, 107-165.

In the Transactions for the Report For The Year 1971-72 Margarets passing is recorded "The Council records with deep regret the death of Mrs. M. Brough, PH.D., D.Sc. in October "

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Before this... Hubert Newman Savory M.A., F.S.A (1911-2001) 82nd President

Next up... G. T. "Jeff" Jefferson 84th President

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