Professor Alexander David Peacock

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Professor Alexander David Peacock

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Professor Alexander David Peacock, Professor of Natural History at University College, Dundee, 1926-1956, was educated at Newcastle Royal Grammar School and Armstrong College, Newcastle (at that time part of the University of Durham) where he gained his BSc. in 1904. He first taught at a Jarrow school and then returned to Armstrong College as a student demonstrator in Zoology. After a short period as entomologist to the Nigerian Agriculture Department, he returned to Armstrong College as a lecturer in 1913.
During the First World War, after serving at the front with the Royal Army Medical Corps he was recalled to headquarters to lecture on insects of military importance and he carried out research on trench fever. In 1919 he again returned to lecture at Armstrong College, and in 1926 he was appointed to the Chair of Natural History in University College, Dundee in succession to James Fairlie Gemmill.
Peacock's work on the causes of trench fever led to the award of DSc. in 1927. The merit of his scientific work, especially in the field of parthenogenesis and cell-structures, was well acknowledged. He was for a time president of the zoology section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and was awarded the Keith Medal of the Royal Society of Edinburgh for a paper in the Society's "Proceedings" and for his contributions in the fields of entomology and cytology. His early investigations in applied biology found fruit in the Second World War when, by his work in the establishment of a pest-control service in Scotland he materially safeguarded the nation's food supplies.
Amongst his other duties and interests during his career in Dundee was his concern for adult education, and he was a prominent member of the local Education Committee and the Workers' Education Association. He also took an interest in the Polish community in Dundee, and was president of the Polish Society in the city during the Second World War. After the War he persuaded the War Office to donate a nissen hut which was used to establish the University field station at Braedownie, Glen Clova. A. D. Peacock was the father of Sir Alan Turner Peacock (1922-2014) , a noted economist and government advisor who held a number of academic posts, including serving as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham.


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