Famous malacologists: Tom Iredale Tom Iredale was an English ornithologist and malacologist,he was born on March 24th 1880 in Stainburn(North-Yorkshire). He became an apprentice to a pharmacist (1899-1901).Iredale emigrated to New Zealand as a sickly youth, suffering from TB. He became a clerk in a company at Christchurch (1902-1907). He was an autodidact and never went to university, thus lacking the formal university training. This would show up in his later work. He never revised his manuscripts, never even used a typewriter. In 1908 he lived for ten months on the remote Kermadec Islands, northeast of New Zealand. He studied birds and became an bird expert, by the simple fact of living with thousands of them. He survived by shooting and eating the objects of his study.While collecting molluscan species on the island, he became more and more interested in the study of molluscs. This would be a new starting point in his career. But in those times, as a keen naturalist, he had to possess a broad interest in nature. In 1909 he visited Queensland, Australia, collecting about 300 species of chitons and other molluscs. His reputation among his peers was growing, even if he had no university degree. He returned to Britain to become a freelance worker at the British Museum of Natural History in London (1909-1910). There he worked as the assistant of Gregory Mathews on the book Birds of Australia (1911-1923). He wrote much of the text, but the work was credited to Mathews. He married Lilian Marguerite Medland (1880-1955) on 8 June 1923. She would illustrate several of his books and would become one of Australia’s finest bird artists. He continued his work in natural history under the patronage of other wealthy naturalists, such as Charles Rothschild. Under his patronage, he travelled to Hungary to collect fleas from birds. Iredale returned to Australia in 1923 and soon after took up a position as a conchologist at the Australian Museum in Sydney (1924-1944). He worked tirelessly on publications on shells, birds, ecology and zoogeography. Lecturing frequently he wrote many popular scientific articles in newspapers. Due to his efforts(and later curators), the Mollusc Section at the Australian Museum maintains now the largest research collection of molluscs in the Southern Hemisphere with over 6,000 specimens. On retirement in 1944, he became a Honorary Associate till his death on April 12th 1972. Many species in conchology, ichthyology and ornithology were named after him, as well as several genera
Some snails named after and by him:Achatina iredalei,Pedninogyra nanna,Thersites thorgoodi(1937).