Ralph Tate - Encyclopedia




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RALPH TATE (1840-1901), British geologist, was born at Alnwick in Northumberland in 1840. He was a nephew of George Tate (1805-1871), naturalist and archaeologist, an active member of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club. He was educated at the Cheltenham Training College and at the Royal School of Mines, and in 1861 he was appointed teacher of natural science at the Philosophical Institution in Belfast. He there studied botany, and published his Flora Belfastinesis (1863); and he also investigated the Cretaceous and Liassic rocks of Antrim, bringing his results before the Geological Society of London. In 1864 he was appointed assistant in the museum of that society. In 1867 he went on an exploring expedition to Nicaragua and Venezuela. In 1871 he was appointed to the mining school, established by the Cleveland ironmasters first at Darlington and then at Redcar. Here he made a special study of the Lias and its fossils, in conjunction with the Rev. J. F. Blake, and the results were published in an important work, The Yorkshire Lias (1876), in which the life-history of the strata was first worked out in detail. In 1875 Tate was appointed professor of natural science in the university of Adelaide, South Australia. He now gave especial attention to the recent and tertiary mollusca of Australia. He was the chief founder of the Royal Society of South Australia, and was in 1893 president of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Science. He died at Adelaide on the 20th of September 1901.

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