Alfred Russel Wallace

Naturalist, Biologist and Explorer Alfred Russel Wallace

Profession: Naturalist, Biologist and Explorer

United Kingdom

Biography: Alfred Russel Wallace was a British naturalist known for having independently conceived of the idea of evolution through natural selection. He published a paper in 1858 which spurred Charles Darwin to write an abstract of his intended project, which he published in 1859 as "On the Origin of Species".

Wallace's fieldwork was in the Amazon River Basin and the Malay Archipelago. This work led also to his being renowned for his knowledge of biogeography, which discipline he is sometimes referred to as the father of.

He also wrote a book titled "Man's Place in the Universe" (1904) which was the first proper effort at evaluating the likelihood of extraterrestrial life in the universe, including whether there might be life on Mars.

Born: January 8, 1823
Birthplace: Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: November 7, 1913 (aged 90)

Historical Events

  • 1848-04-26 Alfred Russel Wallace departs the U.K. for South America, beginning four years of travel, collecting, and research in the region
  • 1852-10-01 Alfred Russel Wallace returns to the U.K. after four years of travel, collecting, and research in South America
  • 1858-07-01 The joint reading of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace's papers on evolution to the Linnean Society