E. Barton Worthington

Edgar Barton Worthington CBE (13 January 1905  14 October 2001) was a British ecologist and science administrator.


His parents were Edgar and Amy Worthington. His early education was at Rugby School, before he went up to gain a First in Zoology at Gonville and Cauis College at Cambridge.[1] After university, his work alternated between Britain and Africa. He took part in an African lakes expedition in 192731; and in an African research expedition 193437, for which he was awarded the Mungo Park Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

He was secretary to and first full-time director of the Freshwater Biological Association 193746. He returned to Africa in the late 1940s as science and development advisor. He was deputy scientific director for the Nature Conservancy 195765, and scientific director of the International Biological Programme (IBP) 196474. His interests included water biology and international nature conservation, including the environmental impacts of drainage and irrigation. He was appointed CBE in 1977.[2][3]

In 1930, Worthington married Stella Johnson, who had been a member of the earlier expeditions he had undertaken and who shared many of his interests. In 1933, they jointly published the book Inland Waters of Africa. They had three daughters, all of whom followed their parents' scientific inclinations. Stella Worthington died in 1978. Two years later, he married Harriet Stockton. He died on 14 December 2001.[1]

Taxa named in honour

Worthington is commemorated in the scientific name of a species of venomous viper, Bitis worthingtoni,[4] which is endemic to the high central Rift Valley of Kenya; and in the names of the Lake Victoria endemic cichlids Haplochromis bartoni and H. worthingtoni.[5]

Partial bibliography

  • 1933: Inland Waters of Africa: The Result of Two Expeditions to the Great Lakes of Kenya and Uganda, with Accounts of Their Biology, Native Tribes and Development (with Stella Worthington), Macmillan and co Ltd
  • 1951: Life in Lakes and Rivers (with T. T. Macan). New Naturalist #15. Collins, London.
  • 1983: The Ecological Century: A Personal Appraisal. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198545569
  • 2009: The Evolution of IBP (editor). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521116114 (this overall account was first published in 1975)


  1. Katja Ganzenmüller; Marion Lowman; Lucy McCann (2017). "Papers of Edgar Barton Worthington 1912-1984". Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  2. Marren, Peter (1995). The New Naturalists. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0007406685.
  3. Ashby, Eric (19 January 1984). "An ecological pilgrim's progress". New Scientist. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  4. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Worthington", p. 289).
  5. Christopher Scharpf & Kenneth J. Lazara (21 Aug 2018). "Order CICHLIFORMES: Family CICHLIDAE: Subfamily PSEUDOCRENILABRINAE (h-k)". The ETYFish Project Fish Name Etymology Database. Christopher Scharpf and Kenneth J. Lazara. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.