Robert Ramsay Wright

Robert Ramsay Wright, zoologist, educator (b at Alloa, Scot 23 Sept 1852; d at Droitwich Spa, Eng 6 Sept 1933). Educated at Edinburgh U (MA 1871, BSc 1873), Ramsay Wright gave up a position on the CHALLENGER EXPEDITION to become professor of natural history (later biology) at U of T in 1874 and remained there for 38 years. He exerted a tremendous personal influence on the teaching of biology in Canada and on a generation of students. He emphasized instruction in the laboratory and developed a large teaching museum in the new Biological Building (1889); his own research ranged from parasitology to catfish anatomy. Wright was also a leading figure in the re-establishment of the Faculty of Medicine at U of T in 1887, where his former pupils A. B. MACALLUM and J. P. McMurrich later continued his work of applying biology to medicine. Interested in fisheries, he was a member of the Biological Board of Canada (later the FISHERIES RESEARCH BOARD) 1901-12, and then retired to Oxford to study classics.