Leonard Doncaster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Leonard Doncaster
Leonard Doncaster.jpg
Painting of Cohen by David Muirhead (1920)
Born31 December 1877
Died28 May 1920 (age 43)
Scientific career
FieldsGenetics, Lepidopterist, Animal Breeding
InstitutionsKing's College, University of Cambridge
InfluencesWilliam Bateson

Leonard Doncaster (31 December 1877 – 28 May 1920) was an English geneticist and a lecturer on zoology at both Birmingham University and the University of Liverpool whose research work was largely based on insects.[1][2][3]

Early life[edit]

Doncaster was born on 31 December 1887 in Sheffield, England.[3]


After education at Leighton Park School and King's College, Cambridge he became an academic at Cambridge University. He was an early Mendelian geneticist who discovered sex linkage, while writing up the results of the Reverend G.H. Raynor on the magpie moth Abraxas grossulariata.[4] He later wrote a number of books on Mendelian genetics and on sex determination. He was appointed assistant to the Superintendent of the Cambridge University Museum of Zoology in June 1902,[5] and himself filled this position from 1909 to 1914.[6] He was elected to the Royal Society of London on the strength of these achievements in 1915. He died of sarcoma in 1920, and William Bateson wrote his obituary in Nature.[7]

His book Heredity in the Light of Recent Research (1910), is notable for explicitly dismissing Lamarckian inheritance.[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Doncaster, Leonard (DNCR896L)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ "DONCASTER, Leonard". The International Who's Who in the World. 1912. p. 390.
  3. ^ a b Entomological News. Entomological Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia & The American Entomological Society. November 1920. p. 240. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  4. ^ Doncaster L., Raynor G.H. (1906). "Breeding experiments with Lepidoptera". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1: 125–133.
  5. ^ "University intelligence". The Times (36787). London. 6 June 1902. p. 11.
  6. ^ "Cambridge University Museum of Zoology: Archives & Histories".
  7. ^ Bateson, W (10 June 1920). "Prof. L. Doncaster, F.R.S.". Nature. 105: 461–462. doi:10.1038/105461a0.
  8. ^ Jones, Andrew F. (2011). Developmental Fairy Tales: Evolutionary Thinking and Modern Chinese Culture. Harvard University Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-674-04795-2

Some publications[edit]

  • Doncaster L., Raynor G.H. (1906). "Breeding experiments with Lepidoptera". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1: 125–133.