Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker England Antarctica India

Biography of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker

(Sir) Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911), son of Sir William Jackson Hooker and born in Halesworth, Suffolk, came to the University of Glasgow to study under his father who was the Regius Professor of Botany (1820-1841). His brother, William Dawson Hooker also attended the University.

Joseph Hooker matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1831, aged just 14, and he graduated with an MD in 1839, and later with an LLD in 1873. During his MD degree he won first prize in Anatomy for the ‘Best essay on the Structure of the Brain and Nerves’. He was also mentioned in the Prize Lists for Natural Philosophy.

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker followed in his father’s footsteps and made a serious study of Botany. He was one of the most important British botanists of the nineteenth century and was close friends with Charles Darwin.

His MD qualified him for employment in the Naval Medical service, and this led him to join the celebrated polar explorer, Captain James Clark Ross, on his Antarctic Expedition.

Hooker was a founder of geographical botany and was Assistant Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew from 1855-1865, then succeeded his father as Director from 1865-1885.


Archival Materials

  • R7/1/2


Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Born 30 June 1817.
Died 10 December 1911.
GU Degrees: MD, 1839; LLD, 1873;
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate
Occupation categories: botanists
Record last updated: 15th Dec 2016

Country Associations

England England, Suffolk, Halesworth
Place of Birth

Antarctica Antarctica

India India

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University Roles