William Gilbert Chaloner

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Bill Chaloner
William Gilbert Chaloner

(1928-11-22)22 November 1928
Died13 October 2016(2016-10-13) (aged 87)
Lapworth Medal (2005)
Scientific career
ThesisThe spores of the Carboniferous lycopods (1953)

William Gilbert Chaloner FRS (22 November 1928 – 13 October 2016) was a British palaeobotanist. He was Professor of Botany in the Earth Sciences Department at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Visiting Professor in Earth Sciences at University College, London.[1][2][3][4]

Education and early life[edit]

Chaloner was born in Chelsea, the son of Ernest J and Lenore (née Maude) Chaloner and was educated at Kingston Grammar School. He attended evening classes in Geology at Chelsea Polytechnic.[5] In 1947 he went to study Botany, Geology and Chemistry at the University of Reading and was awarded a first class Bachelor of Science degree in 1950 followed by a Ph.D in 1953.


After a postdoctoral year at the University of Michigan, he returned home to serve two years National Service in the army before joining the Department of Botany at University College,University of London in 1956. In 1972 he became Professor of Botany at Birkbeck College,University of London. In 1979 he was appointed to the Hildred Carlyle Chair of Botany at Bedford College. He has held visiting professorships at Pennsylvania State University, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[6]

Awards and honours[edit]

Chaloner was an elected Fellow of the Royal Society, the Linnean Society and the recipient of several awards, including the Linnean Medal and the Palaeontological Association's Lapworth Medal.[7] He was elected as a Trustee for the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in 1983. He was president of the Linnean Society from 1985 to 1988.

Personal life[edit]

Chaloner married his American wife Judith; they have two daughters and a son.

He died on 13 October 2016 at the age of 87.[8]


  1. ^ Beerling, D. J.; Osborne, C. P.; Chaloner, W. G. (2001). "Evolution of leaf-form in land plants linked to atmospheric CO2 decline in the Late Palaeozoic era". Nature. 410 (6826): 352–4. doi:10.1038/35066546. PMID 11268207.
  2. ^ Works by or about William Gilbert Chaloner in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  3. ^ William Gilbert Chaloner F.R.S.: biography and bibliography. / Scott, Andrew C.; Collinson, Margaret. Studies in palaeobotany and palynology in honour of Professor W. G. Chaloner. ed. / M.E. Collinson; A.C. Scott. Vol. 49 London : Palaeontological Association, 1993. p. 5-11 (Special papers in palaeontology; 49).
  4. ^ Interview with Professor William G. (Bill) Chaloner Archived 2006-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "William Gilbert Chaloner F.R.S.: biography and bibliography". Royal Holloway, University of London. Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  6. ^ Library of Congress Name Authority File
  7. ^ "Recipients of the Lapworth Medal for Palaeontology". Retrieved 2010-01-12.