Obituary: The Late Professor Robert Collett

Published on 01 March 1913 in Obituaries

B Y the death of Professor Robert Collett at Christiania on January 27th, 1913, Norway loses its best-known naturalist, and one whose reputation is practically cosmopolitan. The following tribute to his memory must, it is feared, be of a rather egotistical nature, because the writer, who has known him for over thirty years, seeing him on nearly every occasion of his passage through Christiania, and corresponding with him somewhat largely, is surprised to realize how very little he knows of the personal history of his friend. His acquaintance with him dates from 1881. When in Christiania that year the writer went as usual to the Zoological Museum of the University and asked for Professor Esmark (Collett’s predecessor), but instead of the old gentleman, a slim young man appeared, who expressed his interest in two papers on Beavers in Norway, published in the Zoologist in 1880, which the writer had sent to Esmark. This proved to be Herr Collett, who had already contributed five papers to the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, besides having published several in Norway, the most important of which was perhaps his Report on Den Norske Nordhavs Expedition, 1876-1878, Zoologi. 1. Fiske, published in Christiania, 1880, in Norwegian and English. He had also begun his ” Bemserkninger til Norges Pattedyrfauna” in Nyt Magazin for Naturvidenskaberne, which appeared in 1876-77-81-82. On Esmark retiring shortly afterwards, Collett was appointed his successor as Professor of Zoology of the University of Christiania and Director of the Zoological Museum there.

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