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Biographical entry Douglas, John Gordon (1929 - 2007)

2 June 1929
Colac, Victoria, Australia
6 February 2007
Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
Author and Palaeobotanist


Palaeobotanist John Douglas Gordon was employed by the Geological Survey of Victoria in 1955 and continued to work there for many years, as an expert in plant fossils of the Cretaceous Period. In 1976, he and colleague Lex Ferguson co-authored Geology of Victoria, which was widely acclaimed for its comprehensive detailing of the 550 million year geological history of Victoria. Douglas was committed to the preservation of geologically significant locations and was instrumental raising awareness of a threatened site outside Yea which contained fossils of the oldest known vascular plants in the world. Gordon wrote widely in his field, having published over 70 scientific papers by the end of his career. In his youth he was also a high level athlete, competing in AFL as well as numerous European track events. In acknowledgement of his achievements he was elected to carry the Olympic Torch through Warrnambool in the year 2000.



Education - Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Melbourne
Career event - Employed by the Geological Survey of Victoria
Education - PhD in Palaeobotany, University of Melbourne
Career event - Publication of Geology of Victoria

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Douglas, Anne and Wallis, Rob, 'Dr John (Jack) Gordon George Douglas, Palaeobotanist and Naturalist, 2 June 1929 - 6 february 2007', Victorian Naturalist, 124 (1) (2007), 45-6. Details

Newspaper Articles

  • Douglas, A., 'Plant fossil expert did all the hard yards', The Age (2007). Details


Rebecca Rigby