One “different kind of gentleman”: Alfred Merle Norman (1831–1918), invertebrate zoologist



Alfred Merle Norman (1831–1918), an active clergyman in rural Co. Durham, England, came from an ancient Somerset family. He began to study marine biology during the early 1850s and during the 1860s was an important participant in John Gwyn Jeffreys' expeditions to the Shetland Islands. Norman's field collecting all over the British Isles was extensive and he made important trips to Norwegian fjords for dredging. His best known discoveries were Rhabdopleura and Synagoga, but he published major work on Protozoa, Porifera, Coelenterata, Mollusca, Crustacea, Echinodermata and other invertebrates. The publication Museum Normanianum summarized Norman's collection of 11,086 species, which was acquired by the British Museum (Natural History). His library, which incorporated John Gwyn Jeffreys' library on molluscs, is now in the Department of Zoology, Cambridge University. Norman was primarily a taxonomist secondarily interested in zoogeography who avoided Darwinian controversies.

A bibliography of Norman's 218 publications is included.