Hooker  Joseph Dalton 

English botanist, one of the most prominent systematic botanists of the XIX and XX centuries. 
Born in Cholesworth, Suffolk County in the family of a professor of botany, whose fame he inherited, and later eclipsed. 
He graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1839. 
Hooker was the closest collaborator of Charles Darwin, a follower of his evolutionary theory.

From 1855, he was the father’s assistant in the management of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew , and after his father’s death he was the director of this garden (1865–1885). 
From a young age, Hooker showed interest in traveling and describing distant lands. His attention was riveted on two regions - the Antarctic and the Himalayas. He managed to realize his first aspiration quickly. In 1840, as an assistant surgeon, he joined the James Ross Antarctic Expedition on the Erebus and Terror ships. In fact, he was engaged in botany and visited Australia, New Zealand, Kerguelen, the Falkland Islands and Terra del Fuego.
In 1847, he realized his second aspiration, going on a trip to Bengal and Baharu, from where he moved to the Himalayas, where for almost two years he conducted topographic and botanical research. And in subsequent years, Hooker traveled extensively in India, the Middle East, Australia, South and North America, found several thousand new plant species, was the editor of the Botanical Review magazine, an honorary member of scientific societies in many countries of the world. For a long time he served as director of the largest botanical center in Glasgow. 
Hooker was one of those scientists who thought that the project proposed by F. Nansen to reach the North Pole on a ship, frozen into the drifting ice, was unreal. 
First of all, he believed that no vessel could withstand long time in the fight against polar ice. "Fram" will be able to resist the pressure of even perennial ice, but it will not withstand compression, especially repeated compression and jolts. The shape of the ship may be useful as long as the stern and bow are raised evenly. It also will not save the ship under longitudinal compression. 
Secondly, according to Hooker, if the Fram will be brought to the shores of Greenland or the islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, landing on land will not leave the slightest hope of saving the weakened crew from these deserted areas. 
Thirdly, it is necessary to take into account scurvy and the low morale of the team after a long stay in the most difficult conditions of the polar night. 
He concluded his doubts by saying that for the sake of such a goal one should not risk precious human lives, and suggested that Nansen apply his courage, art and ability to accomplish some other, less dangerous attempt to uncover the secrets of the Arctic region. 
He died at his home near Sunningdale. At his request, he was buried with his father in the cemetery of St. Anna's Church in Kew Green, a short walk from Kew Gardens.


Church of St. Anna


An island in the south of the archipelago Franz-Josef Land. Opened and named by the Dutch expedition on the ship "Willem Barents" under the command of De Bruyne in 1879. In 1929, the Soviet polar observatory was founded on this island in Tikhaya Bay, which was the center of research work on Franz Josef Land. Existed until 1957.


Hooker Island. Cape Bear

(photo by N. M. Stolbov)

Hooker Island. Nunatak Tass

(photo by N. M. Stolbov)

Northern cape of Hooker Island Lewis_Pool

(photo by N. M. Stolbov)


Return to the main page