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Biographical entry Chapman, Frederick (1864 - 1943)

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    Chapman, Frederick Portrait

13 February 1864
Camden Town, London, England
10 December 1943
Kew, Victoria, Australia


Frederick Chapman was Palaeontologist to the National Museum, Melbourne from 1902-1927 and served as the first Commonwealth Palaeontologist 1927-1935. He trained as a teacher of geology and physiography at the Royal College of Science, London and was Assistant to Professor J.W. Judd in the geology department of the College from 1881. His research interest was in Foraminifera and he became a world leader in this field. His books included The Foraminifera: an introduction to the study of the Protozoa (1902) and Australasian fossils (1914). On being appointed Palaeontologist of the National Museum of Victoria in 1902 Chapman had the task of amalgamating and arranging the collections of fossils from the Geological Survey of Victoria and the University of Melbourne. As the first Commonwealth Palaeontologist his work involved the examination of fossils from bore material submitted in the search for oil. Chapman took a leading role in scientific organisations in Victoria, serving terms as President several societies and Honorary curator of the Maranoa Gardens in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn.



1892 - 1943
Award - Fellow, Royal Microscopical Society, London
1896 - 1943
Career position - Associate, Linnean Society, London
Award - Lyell Prize for research, Geological Society, London
1902 - 1927
Career position - Palaeontologist, National Museum of Victoria
1919 - 1920
Career position - President, Microscopical Society of Victoria
1919 - 1920
Career position - President, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
1920 - ?
Career position - Member, International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
1920 - ?
Career position - Honorary Palaeontologist, Geological Survey of Victoria
Award - David Syme Research Prize, University of Melbourne
1920 - 1932
Career position - Lecturer on palaeontology (part-time), University of Melbourne
1922 - ?
Career position - Member, Australian National Research Council
1926 - 1943
Award - Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of South Australia
1927 - 1935
Career position - First Commonwealth Palaeontologist
1929 - 1930
Career position - President, Royal Society of Victoria
Award - Lyell Medal, Geological Society of London
Award - Clarke Medal, Royal Society of New South Wales
Award - Clarke Medal, Royal Society of New South Wales
1932 - 1943
Award - Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of New Zealand
1933 - 1943
Award - Corresponding Member, Paleontological Society, U.S.A.
1936 - ?
Career position - Honorary Palaeontologist, National Museum of Victoria
Award - Australian Natural History Medallion, Field Naturalist Club of Victoria

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Published resources

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Journal Articles

  • 'Obituary: Frederick Chapman', Australian Journal of Science, 6 (4) (1944), 122. Details


Digital resources

Chapman, Frederick Portrait


McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn