William Alexander Forbes
Forbes studied natural sciences at St John's College, Cambridge. In 1879 he was appointed prosector to the Zoological Society of London on the death of the previous incumbent, Alfred Henry Garrod, who was Forbes's friend and whose literary executor Forbes became. Forbes lectured on comparative anatomy at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School. As an anatomist, he wrote valuable papers on the muscular structure and voice organs of birds.
In 1880 Forbes visited the forests of Pernambuco, Brazil, and published an account of his trip in The Ibis in 1881. In 1882 he travelled to west Africa to study the native fauna, starting from the mouth of the Niger delta. He was taken ill shortly after Christmas and died in Shonga.
On 8 February 1878, Forbes was elected Secretary of the Cambridge Natural History Society. He also edited the book compiling the late Alfred Henry Garrod's scientific papers; the book was published in 1881 along with a memoir of Garrod written by Forbes.
- "The Cambridge Natural History Society" by Charles E Raven.
- Forbes, William Alexander and Beddard, F.E. ed. (1885) The Collected Scientific Papers of the late William Alexander Forbes. London, [England]. R.H. Porter. 496 pages
- "Forbes, William Alexander (FRBS876WA)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "Forbes, William Alexander". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Forbes, William Alexander (1855-1883), zoologist by G. T. Bettany, rev. Yolanda Foote in Dictionary of National Biography online (accessed 21 July 2008)
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