ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Robert Brown (1773-1858), Scottish botanist. Brown was born at Montrose to a fiercely Jacobite church minister. He was educated locally and at Aberdeen until his family moved to Edinburgh. At the University he enrolled in medicine but turned to botany. He dropped out of university and joined the army as a surgeon. By 1800 he had established his reputaion as a botanist, to the extent that in 1801 he sailed with Flinders to Australia and returned in 1805 with thousands of specimens. In later life he used microscopes for his study of plants. In 1827 he noticed a strange jitery random movement in pollen vacuoles at high magnification and later observed the same motion with dust. This phenomenon was later called Brownian Motion. In 1831 he was the first to name the cell nucleus and later identified the differences between gymnosperms and angiosperms.
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