Harry Slack

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Dr Harry Dawson Slack FRSE (1907–1982) was a 20th century British zoologist closely associated with Loch Lomond in Scotland.


Rossdhu House

He was born in Littleover near Derby on 29 September 1907 the son of Wilfred Heald Slack (b.1873).[1]

His father served as an officer in the Derbyshire Volunteers during the First World War but resigned his commission in July 1917.[2]

Harry was educated at Derby Secondary School 1918 to 1920 then Burton-on-Trent Grammar School 1920to 1927. He then studied Zoology at the University of London, graduating BSc in 1932. He then went to Edinburgh University for postgraduate studies gaining a doctorate (PhD) in 1937.[3] Immediately on qualifying he obtained a post as assistant lecturer in zoology at Glasgow University. He quickly became obsessed by Loch Lomond and in 1938 launched a limnology course at the university involving bathymetric survey of the loch.

In the Second World War Harry served as a Radar Officer in the REME reaching the rank of Captain. On demobbing he set up a research station on Loch Lomond at Rossdhu House. This was partially equipped by instruments from the Challenger expedition. During his period here he worked closely with Prof Peter Maitland.

In 1952 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Maurice Yonge, Otto Lowenstein, Ebenezer Ford, Sheina Marshall and Andrew Picken Orr.[4] His address was then 6 Wardlaw Road in Bearsden.[5]

In 1967 his research transferred from Rossdhu to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.[6]

He retired to a cottage at Yett of Ptarmigan, Rowardennan in Stirlingshire in 1972 and died there on 17 October 1982 .


He married the zoologist Flora Eleanor Cochrane.



  1. ^ 1901 Census: William Heald Slack
  2. ^ London Gazette 27 September 1917
  3. ^ https://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH25693&type=P
  4. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  5. ^ RSE Yearbook 1952
  6. ^ https://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH25693&type=P