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Biographical entry Shirley, John (1849 - 1922)

11 August 1849
Dorchester, England
5 April 1922
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Educator and Naturalist


John Shirley, the first Principal of the Teachers' Training College, Brisbane, encouraged the study of nature in schools. He also taught botany, physiology, and geology at the Pharmacy College and worked at the Queensland Museum. His special interests were lichens and Mollusca and over his career he collected and mounted of 2500 plant specimens.


Educated University of London (BSc). DSc, University of Sydney 1912. Teacher, Bishop Ryder's Boys' School, Birmingham 1870-77, arrived Brisbane 1878, head teacher, Roma State School 1878, district inspector west of Maryborough 1879-1908, senior inspector 1909-14, first principal, Teachers' Training College, Brisbane 1914, lectured in botany, physiology and geology, Pharmacy College. Twice president, Royal Society of Queensland, a founder of the Field Naturalists' Club 1906 and president 1908. Honorary conchologist, Queensland Museum 1912-14, salaried conchologist 1920-21. Acacia shirleyi and Eucalyptus shirleyi named after him.


Taxonomy event - Honoured with Eucalyptus shirleyi Maiden

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Australian Botanists - Biographies, MS 064; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Shirley, J., 'A Fish-Poison of the Aborigines', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 11 (1895-1896), 88-90. Details
  • Shirley, J., 'A Review of Recent Australian Conchology', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, xxvii (1915), 1-10. Details


McCarthy, G.J.