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Alan William Greenwood

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Name  Alan Greenwood

Died  1981
Alan William Greenwood
Born  1897Melbourne, Australia
Occupation  Scottish zoologist and geneticist

Dr Alan William Greenwood CBE FRSE (29 June 1897 – 4 May 1981) was a Scottish zoologist and geneticist, who helped pave the way to creating Dolly the Sheep. He served as Director of the Poultry Research Centre from 1947 until 1962.



He was born in Melbourne in Australia on 29 June 1897 and attended Wesley College in Melbourne. He then won a place at Melbourne University graduating BSc in Chemistry and Biology in 1920. He continued as a postgraduate, gaining an MSc in 1923 then travelling to the United Kingdom to study for a PhD at Edinburgh University under the wing of James Cossar Ewart. Here he also began work at the Animal Breeding Research Department (later renamed the Institute of Animal Genetics). He gained his PhD from Edinburgh in 1925 and in 1931 he received a further honorary DSc from Melbourne University.

In 1927 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh his proposers including James Hartley Ashworth, James Cossar Ewart and Sir Robert Blyth Greig. In 1932 he was awarded the Keith Medal for his contributions to the study of the biology of the fowl. He served as Vice President of the Society from 1943 to 1946 and Secretary 1955 to 1960.

In the Second World War he served as Acting Director whilst the former Director, Francis Albert Eley Crew FRSE, served in the war, and in 1947 he fully replaced him as Director. The overall speciality was in poultry research, especially chicken reproduction.

In the New Years Honours list on 1 January 1955 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He died at 64 Strathearn Road in Edinburgh on 4 May 1981 and was buried at Grange Cemetery. The simple gravestone lies in the modern southern section of the west extension.

War Service

Greenwood served in the Camel Field Ambulance (part of the Australian Imperial Forces) in Palestine in the First World War.


He married twice: firstly to Vera Crockett in 1923; secondly to Josephine Peace (1907–2001).

He had no children by either marriage and ironically is presumed to have been infertile.


Alan William Greenwood Wikipedia

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