Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dickie, George

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DICKIE, GEORGE, M.D. (1812–1882), botanist, born at Aberdeen 23 Nov. 1812, was educated at Marischal College in that city, where he graduated A.M. in 1830, and prosecuted the study of medicine in the universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh. From 1839 he lectured on botany for ten years in King's College, Aberdeen, and in that university for shorter periods on natural history and materia medica. In 1849 he was appointed professor of natural history in Belfast, where he taught botany, geology, physical geography, and zoology. From this he was transferred in 1860 to the chair of botany at Aberdeen, which he held until 1877, when failing health caused his retirement.

He was a fellow of the Royal and Linnean Societies, and was a constant contributor to many scientific journals, as may be seen by reference to the list given in the Royal Society's ‘Catalogue of Scientific Papers.’ His separate works are:

  1. ‘Flora of Aberdeen,’ in 1838.
  2. ‘Botanist's Guide to the Counties of Aberdeen, Banff, and Kincardine,’ in 1860.
  3. ‘Flora of Ulster,’ in 1864.

In conjunction with Dr. m'Cosh he wrote ‘Typical Forms and Special Ends in Creation,’ 1856; he also supplied much information to Macgillivray's ‘Natural History of Deeside and Braemar,’ 1855, and certain arctic narratives. His earlier articles deal with vegetable morphology and physiology, but from 1844 onwards his attention was increasingly devoted to algæ, and during his later years this group entirely engrossed his attention. His knowledge of marine algæ was very extensive, and collections which were received at Kew were regularly sent to him for determination and description. In 1861 a severe illness withdrew him from active fieldwork, while bronchial troubles and increasing deafness made him an invalid during his later years. He died at Aberdeen on 15 July 1882.

[Proc. Linn. Soc. 1882–3, p. 40; Cat. Scientific Papers, ii. 283, vii. 531.

B. D. J.