Biological Sciences

Robert Brown

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

Portrait of Robert Brown

In the early years of the 19th century, Brown was naturalist on the Investigator on the expedition to chart the coast of Australia; he collected thousands of specimens and later published the first systematic account of Australian flora.

In 1837 Brown became the first Keeper of the Botanical Department at the Natural History Museum in London.

Brown was the first person to give the name "nucleus" to the central body of the cell. Perhaps most famously, after observing pollen grains and dust, he described the continuous motion of particles suspended in a gas or liquid which is now known as "Brownian motion".