Person NameDarling; Sir; Frank Fraser (1903-1979); environmentalist, conservationist and scientist
ForenamesFrank Fraser
Epithetenvironmentalist, conservationist and scientist
ActivitySir Frank Fraser Darling (1903-1979), environmentalist, conservationist and scientist, was born on a farm near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on 23 June 1903. His mother, Harriet Darling (b 1877) was unmarried and his father whom he never met, was Frank Moss (d 1917). He left school aged 15 and took a succession of farm jobs. He subsequently attended agricultural college at Sutton Bonington where he met and fell in love with Marion Fraser ['Bobbie]. They were married at Enfield on 5 September 1925. In 1928 he submitted a PhD to the University of Edinburgh and subsequently obtained employment as Chief Officer of the Imperial Bureau of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh. He secured a Leverhulme scholarship to study red deer 1933-1936 and together with his wife and son moved to Wester Ross. Following this study he secured a Carnegie Research Fellowship 1936-1939 and the family spent the summers of 1936 and 1937 on Eilean a 'Chleirich where he studied bird flocks. These two studies gained him a doctorate of science from the University of Edinburgh. In the early 1940's the family established a farm on the island of Tanera Mor. He also worked as an agricultural advisor in crofting areas from 1942-1944. From 1944 he toured with lectures on island life. From 1944-1950 he was the Director of the West Highland Survey, a study he had devised into the causes underlying depopulation and economic decline. In 1948 he divorced 'Bobbie' and married Averil Morley (d 1957). In 1949 he was the UNESCO representative for conferences concerning the conservation of natural resources. In 1950 he travelled in the United States and Mexico on a Rockefeller Special Fellowship. From 1953-1958 he was senior lecturer in ecology and conservation at the University of Edinburgh. From 1959-1972 he was Vice-President of the Conservation Foundation, Washington, USA. Averil Morley died in 1957 and in 1960 he married Christina Macinnes Brotchie. He wrote numerous publications concerning nature and conservation. He was knighted in 1970 and died on 22 October 1979.
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