Gilbert Percy Whitley
Gilbert Percy Whitley was a British-born Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n ichthyologist
Ichthyology is the branch of zoology devoted to the study of fish. This includes skeletal fish , cartilaginous fish , and jawless fish...

 and malacologist who was Curator of Fishes at the Australian Museum
Australian Museum
The Australian Museum is the oldest museum in Australia, with an international reputation in the fields of natural history and anthropology. It features collections of vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, as well as mineralogy, palaeontology, and anthropology...

 in Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 for about 40 years. He was born at Swaythling
Swaythling was once a village but over the years it has gradually become a suburb and electoral ward of Southampton in Hampshire, England. The ward has a population of 13,394....

, Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, and was educated at King Edward VI School, Southampton
King Edward VI School, Southampton
King Edward VI School, often referred to as King Edward's, or simply KES, is a selective co-educational independent day School located in Southampton, United Kingdom and is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. It was founded in 1553, after the death of William Capon , who...

 and Osborne House
Osborne House
Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat....

. He died in Sydney.

Whitley migrated with his family to Sydney in 1921 and he joined the staff of the Australian Museum in 1922 while studying zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

 at Sydney Technical College
Sydney Technical College
The Sydney Technical College was a name used by Australia's oldest technical education institution.It began as the Sydney Mechanics' Institute in 1843...

 and the University of Sydney
University of Sydney
The University of Sydney is a public university located in Sydney, New South Wales. The main campus spreads across the suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington on the southwestern outskirts of the Sydney CBD. Founded in 1850, it is the oldest university in Australia and Oceania...

. In 1925 he was formally appointed Ichthyologist (later Curator of Fishes) at the Museum, a position he held until retirement in 1964. During his term of office he doubled the size of the ichthyological collection to 37,000 specimens through many collecting expeditions.

Whitley was also a major force in the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales
The Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales was formed in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in 1879 as the New South Wales Zoological Society. A Royal Charter was granted in September, 1908, leading to a change to the current name on 10 February 1909...

, in which he was made a Fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

 in 1934 and which he served as President during 1940-41, 1959-60 and 1973-74. He also edited its publications from 1947 to 1971.

Awards and honours

  • 1967 – Awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion
    Australian Natural History Medallion
    The Australian Natural History Medallion is awarded each year by the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria to the person judged to have made the most meritorious contribution to the understanding of Australian Natural History...

     by the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
    Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
    The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria is an Australian natural history and conservation organisation.It was founded in May 1880 by a group of nature enthusiasts that included Thomas Pennington Lucas. Charles French and Dudley Best. It is the oldest conservation group in Victoria...

  • 1970 – Awarded the W.B. Clarke Medal
    Clarke Medal
    The Clarke Medal is awarded by the Royal Society of New South Wales for distinguished work in the Natural sciences.Named in honour of the Reverend William Branwhite Clarke, one of the founders of the Society...

     by the Royal Society of New South Wales
    Royal Society of New South Wales
    The Royal Society of New South Wales is a learned society based in Sydney, Australia. It was established as the Philosophical Society of Australasia on 27 June 1821...

  • 1979 – Commemorated by the establishment, by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, of the Whitley Awards
    Whitley Awards (Australia)
    The Whitley Awards have been awarded annually since 1979 by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales . They commemorate Gilbert Whitley, an eminent Australian ichthyologist, and are presented for outstanding publications, either printed or electronic, that contain new information about the...

     for excellence in zoological publications relating to the fauna of the Australasia
    Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

    n region.
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