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The Wall of the Dead:

A Illustrated Memorial to Fallen Naturalists

Based on work by Richard Conniff

Wallace, Herbert(1828–1850), entomologist, age 22, of yellow fever in the Amazon.

Walker, Terriss (1950-1992) prominent Queensland seabird scientist who disappeared at sea, age 42, in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, while surveying remote seabird islands.

Walsh, Benjamin(1808–1869), the first state entomologist in Illinois, age 61, after losing his foot in a train accident. Here’s a biographic article published in 2003.

Wang, Lue Jiang (1963-2000), a promising young paleoceanographer, raised in China, did his post-doctoral research in Germany and had become a professor at Japan’s Hokkaido University. He was studying the geological history of monsoons in China using fossil planktonic foraminifera and other tools, when he died, age 37, in a diving accident.

Ymke Warren

Ymke Warren

Warren, Ymke (1970-2010), British primatologist researching the critically endangered Cross River gorilla for the Wildlife Conservation Society, murdered at age 40 in Cameroon.

Warncke, Klaus (1937-1993), a prolific German hymenopterist, who named over 885 new species of Palearctic bees, and died, age 56, along with his wife, Christa, when their car was struck head-on by an oncoming truck while on a field expedition in Egypt.

Weber, Dale (19??-1997), an American ichthyologist, killed in a car accident in Brazil, age unknown, who made numerous trips to Panama, Venezuela, and Brazil to study and collect killifish species.

Webster III, T. Preston (1947-1975), herpetologist,  best known as a pioneer of gel electrophoresis techniques for elucidating species relationships, and among the first to describe “cryptic species” using molecular data. Webster conducted extensive fieldwork on the Anolis lizards of the Caribbean, as well as salamanders in the southeastern USA. He was killed, age 28, in a car crash in Montana and has since been immortalized with the names of Anolis websteri and a salamander Plethodon websteri.

Weller, Worth Hamilton (1913-1931),  fell off a cliff on Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina, age 18, while collecting specimens of a newly discovered salamander (Weller’s Salamander, Plethodon welleri).

White, Samuel(1835–1880), Australian ornithologist, age 45, of pneumonia or fever during an expedition to the Aru Islands.

Whitehead, John(1860–1899), British collector of natural history specimens in Southeast Asia, age 39, of fever in Hainan, China.

Wood, Geoffrey Howorth Spencer (1927-1957), forest botanist in Sandakan (N. Borneo or Sabah). died, age 30, of burns suffered while preparing his collections and pouring alcohol over them too near the campfire. One of his helpers carried him to the hospital, but too late.



Wysiekierski, Chris (1971-2001), graduate student at the University of Windsor (Canada) working on protection of coastal ecosystems, who drowned in a snorkeling accident, age 30, while conducting field research on coral reefs near Turneffe Atoll, Belize.