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The Wall of the Dead:

A Illustrated Memorial to Fallen Naturalists

Based on work by Richard Conniff

Pambu (18??-1898), a Lepcha collector working with William Doherty, “murdered by the savages” on Japen Island, West Irian Jaya.  See Cowan, C.F. (1967) Lakatt and Pambu: Lepcha explorers. Journal of the Bombay Natural History society 64(2):381-384.

Parker, Ted (1953–1993), American ornithologist, age 40, killed in a plane crash in the mountains of Ecuador.  Here’s a brief biography.

Parkinson, Sydney (1745–1771), artist on Cook’s Endeavour, at sea, age 26, of dysentery.

Peale, Raphaelle (1774–1825), American artist and naturalist, age 51, of arsenic and mercury poisoning from his taxidermy work in the family museum.

Petersen, Erik (1918-1961) Danish ornithologist, died age 43, of an allergic reaction to a wasp sting, on the island of Tawi-Tawi in the Philippines.

Plee, August (1787-1825), an explorer naturalist for the French National Museum of Natural History in Paris, he died, age 38, from an unknown sickness in Martinique, after sending botanical specimens back to France.

Pliny The Elder, Gaius (23-79 A.D.), Roman naturalist, author of the encyclopedic (though sometimes highly imaginary) Historia Naturalis, died, age 56, supposedly of toxic fumes, when scientific curiosity caused him to get too close during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Plowman, Timothy (1944-1989), eminent Amazonian ethnobotanist for the Field Museum in Chicago, died of AIDS, age 45, reportedly as a result  a dirty needle  used in mandatory “pre-trip inoculations” for yellow fever, at the border of Venezuela or Peru.

Pokluda, Pavel (1990-2012), a Czech entomologist working on his dissertation at the University of South Bohemia, was collecting ground beetles in Papua New Guinea when he died, age 26, after falling into a ravine in the Finisterre mountain range.

Polis, Gary (1946-2000), University of California at Davis scorpion researcher, drowned, age 53, with three others, when their small boat was caught in a storm during an expedition on the Sea of Cortez.

Posa Bohome, Claudio (1965-2010), a botanist at the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial, he became acutely ill while on a biodiversity expedition to the Gran Caldera de Luba, in the remote southern part of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, and died, age 44, soon after being evacuated to hospital.

Poudel, Narayan (1953-2006), former national park manager, recently amed head of Nepal’s wildlife and national parks department, killed, age 53, in a helicopter crash that took the lives of 24 people, many of them World Wildlife Fund conservationists, in eastern Nepal.

Prahl, Henry von (1948-1989), an expert on marine crustaceans, mangroves and coral reefs, was killed, age 41,when the plane in which he was traveling from Bogota to Cali was destroyed by a bomb.  Pablo Escobar of the Medellín drug cartel had been attempting  to kill presidential candidate César Gaviria Trujillo.  Gaviria missed the flight and served as president from 1990-1993.

Przhevalsky, Nikolai Mikhaylovich (1839–1888), Polish-Russian explorer, discoverer of only wild horse species, of typhus, age 49, in Kyrgyzstan.