that Forster guy

J.R.Foster, from bishopmuseum.orgInteresting. I noticed yesterday that a number of fish had the same stem name ‘forster’ and found that Forster had been the naturalist with Cook on the second voyage to New Zealand. You may’ve remembered that, because you probably paid attention in school…

Wikipedia had this to say:
Johann Reinhold Forster (October 22, 1729 – December 9, 1798) was a German naturalist of Scottish descent.

Forster made contributions to the early ornithology of Europe and North America. He is best known as the naturalist on James Cook’s second Pacific voyage, when he was accompanied by his son Georg Forster.

Johann Reinhold Forster’s family originates in the Lords Forrester in Scotland from where his great-grandfather had emigrated after losing most of his property during the rule of Oliver Cromwell. Forster himself was born in the Polish province of Royal Prussia, in the city of Tczew, twenty miles south of Gdańsk. He studied theology at the University of Halle, Germany, afterwards serving as a Lutheran pastor. In 1766 he travelled to England with his son Georg (the eldest of eight children, seven of which survived childhood). He spent three years teaching at the Dissenter’s Academy in Warrington, succeeding Joseph Priestley. He then moved to London, where he became known as a natural historian. When Joseph Banks withdrew at the last moment as naturalist on Cook’s second voyage, Forster and his son were appointed to fill the vacant position. In July 1772 they set sail on the Resolution, returning to England in July 1775. During a stop in Cape Town, Forster engaged Anders Sparrman to act as his assistant.

Both the Forsters kept detailed diaries of everything they saw on the voyage, and made extensive collections of both natural history specimens and artefacts. On his return Forster published Observations Made during a Voyage round the World (1778). However the income from the book was insufficient to clear his debts, and the bulk of George’s drawings from the voyage had to be sold to Joseph Banks. During the next few years Forster undertook a variety of writing work, including a German translation of Thomas Pennant’s Arctic Zoology.

In November 1779 Forster was appointed Professor of Natural History and Mineralogy at the University of Halle, where he remained until his death. His Descriptiones animalium, completed within a month of returning to England with Cook, was eventually edited by Hinrich Lichtenstein and published in 1844.

According to Australian National Botanic Gardens; Forster (exploring with his son) was botanist on Cook’s second voyage (Resolution and Adventure) to the South Seas. The Forsters were aboard Resolution. Only the Adventure touched Australian shores, at Adventure Bay, Tasmania (February 1773). The Forsters wrote a number of (largely unauthorised) works on their voyage, describing some South Pacific plants which extend to Australia. Their herbarium was dispersed. The son, Johann Georg Adam Forster (1754-1794), was a London based botanist, botanical artist and illustrator (?engraver). He illustrated his own work, Characteres Generum Plantarum (1775).


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