Biological Sciences

Notable alumni

The University has been the home of some of the most notable names in the biological sciences, both living and historic.

Aubrey Manning

Professor Aubrey Manning was recognised as one of the country’s leading authorities on animal behaviour.

Charles Darwin

Perhaps surprisingly, Charles Darwin did not study biology or “natural history”. He enrolled at the University to study medicine in 1825, when he was just 16 years old.

Paul Nurse

Nobel laureate in Medicine Professor Sir Paul Nurse spent six years as a postdoctoral researcher in the biology department at Edinburgh, in what he later described as a period “pivotal for my entire research career”.

Robert Brown

Robert Brown, like Charles Darwin, was another University of Edinburgh medical student who found renown through his work as a biologist.

Steve Jones

Steve Jones, the well-known geneticist, prize-winning author and television presenter, completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Edinburgh.

Piers Sellers

Astronaut and ecologist Piers Sellers was an undergraduate student in ecology at Edinburgh, graduating in 1976.

James Ashworth

The name, if not the face, of Professor Ashworth is remembered every day as students and staff work in the building he brought about - Ashworth Laboratories.