Members at our 2007 BBQ

Naturalists' Society

Cymdeithas Naturiaethwyr



G. T. "Jeff" Jefferson (?-1986) 84th President

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G. T. "Jeff" Jefferson was one of Britain's leading cave biologists. Throughout his life he collected animals from subterranean sites and amassed a large collection. This is now housed in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.

According to the SWCC newsletters referenced below, he came to Cardiff in 1946 having worked in a "government research unit setup during the war to investigate the pests of stored foods" which is a remarkably similar role to that described for James Brough 83rd President, and although I have yet to track down any formal link between the two it is not unreasonable supposition to consider one.

As was very normal back then and sadly not as common these days he rapidly joined the Society as it was the premier natural history society of the area. Just as rapidly he was giving presentations to the society and running trips for them. A selection of such is given here: -

  1. 1949 - Some Aspects of the Physiology of Forests
  2. 1950 - Insects
  3. 1951 - Bristol Channel Barnacles which was published as a paper "A Note on Some Tropical or Subtropical Barnacles and Other Animals from the Bristol Channel" in 1953
  4. 1957 - A Naturalist underground in S. Wales and to the Junior section a similar talk
  5. 1962 - The Natural History of Caves (Presidential Address)
  6. 1964 - Caving in South Wales
  7. 1966 - The Bristol Channel and its Natural History
  8. 1967 - The 1976 Los Tayos Expedition to Ecuador

His involvement in Cave biology and exploration is clear from the number of titles on these subjects, and he is held in high esteem in the Caving world, especially in South Wales and the Cave Science fraternity. There is an excellent tribute to him starting on page 13 [14 of the pdf] of the South Wales Caving Club Newsletter 102. in that the author Dennis Bellamy comments on his honour of being the Senior Scientist on the 1976 Los Tayos Expedition to Ecuador. This was quite an unusual expedition as noted in this excerpt from Wikipedia

As a result of the claims published in von Daniken's book, an investigation of Cueva de los Tayos was organized by Stan Hall of the United Kingdom, in 1976. One of the largest and most expensive cave explorations ever undertaken, the expedition involved over a hundred people, including experts in a variety of fields, British and Ecuadorian military personnel, a film crew, and former astronaut Neil Armstrong. The team also included eight experienced British cavers who thoroughly explored the cave and conducted an accurate survey to produce a detailed map of it. There was no evidence of Von Daniken's more exotic claims, although some physical features of the cave did approximate his descriptions and some items of zoological, botanical, and archaeological interest were found. The lead researcher met with Moricz's indigenous source, who claimed that they had investigated the wrong cave, and that the real cave was secret.

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

Next up... Edgar T. Shepherd, F.C.A. 85th President

See our Full list of Presidents

These pages are part of the Cardiff Naturalists' Society 150th Anniversary celebrations and are about our history and are celebrating the people who developed our Society and helped build the city and the cultural heritage of Cardiff. You can read more about that using the links above

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