Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Wallace Alfred Russel

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_4282-1

He was a British all-rounder: explorer, geographer, anthropologist, and biologist, who discovered independently from Charles Darwin the basics of evolution of living organisms during his various expeditions to the ancient forests of the archipels of Malaysia and Indonesia (1854–1862).

His article summarizing his observations on evolutionary processes in nature – sent 1858 to Darwin – drove Darwin to finish his ideas, which he had displaced due to his doubts and being torn between his believe as Anglican parson and his insights as scientist. A common publication (Darwin and Wallace) in the year 1858 described roughly the key stones of the evolution theory later called Darwinism. Although this article contained already all breaking points to the officially accepted divine creation this article did not get public attention. The “storm” of aggression blew up only when the Darwin’s book On the origin of speciesappeared in the year 1859. Wallace was lifelong Darwin’s faithful defender and...


Evolutionary Process Geographical Distribution Living Organism Evolution Theory Public Attention 
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Further Reading

  1. Darwin CR, Wallach AR (1858) On the tendency of species to form varieties and on the perpetuation of varieties and species by natural means of selection. J Proc Linn Soc London Zool 3:46–50Google Scholar
  2. Wallace AR (1876) The geographical distribution of animals. Harper and Brothers, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Wallace AR (1881) Island life. Harper and Brothers, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany