Papers of Professor Sir Charles Maurice Yonge, 1899 - 1986, Professor of Zoology, University of Glasgow

Scope and Content

  • Annual Report for the 'Scottish Marine Biological Association, 1967-1968', 1968
  • Material relating to Colonial Fisheries, c1950s
  • Pamphlet for 'The Adam Smith Club, 1868-1897', 1963
  • Papers relating to Mr Yonge and the Zoology department, c1944-1973
  • Photographs and lists of Zoology department staff, c1940s-1960s

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Maurice Yonge (known as Maurice) was born in Yorkshire in 1899 and was educated at Silcoates School in Wakefield. Following his time in the army between 1917-1918, Yonge read history at Oxford. However, this was only for a short period as he transferred to the University of Edinburgh in 1919 where he enrolled as a Baxter Natural Science Scholar.

In 1925, Yonge became an Assistant Naturalist for the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth. His work concentrated on the feeding and digestion of oysters, and led to Yonge embarking on a lifetime of study into a group of bivalves. Much of his work is evident in his book Oysters which was published in 1960.

Following his time in Plymouth, Yonge moved to Cambridge in 1927 as a Balfour Student. He became renowned for both organising and leading the famous Great Barrier Reef expedition of 1928-1929, with his time at the reef leading to his publication, A Year on the Great Barrier Reef .

At the age of 34 years, he received early academic recognition by becoming Professor of Zoology at Bristol, and went on to become Regius Professor of Zoology at the University of Glasgow eleven years later in 1944. Following his appointment in Glasgow, he was elected to the Royal Society two years later. Whilst in Glasgow, he is regarded to have played a significant part in the development of marine science both nationally and internationally, and his contribution at work led to the Univeristy of Glasgow's Zoology Department growing in distinction.

In 1964, he resigned from his position of Chair of Zoology at Glasgow in order to pursue full-time research on Mollusca. He produced a large amount of papers as a result of his research on molluscan evolution, including papers on the Mytilacea, Chamacea and Cardiacea.

Yonge was recognised for his work with many awards such as the Macdougall Brisbane Prize of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1953, as well as being knighted in 1967. He was also rewarded with honorary doctorates from Manchester and the University of Edinburgh to name but a few, and was Vice President and an Honorary Member of both the Scottish Marine Biological Association and the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Charles Maurice Yonge died on the 17th March 1986, aged 86.

Source: Obituary in Journal of Molluscan Studies (The Malacological Society of London, 1987)


Listed by box. Items are generally listed in their original order

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to the Data Protection Act 1998

Acquisition Information

Gift : Brian Morton : July 2010 : ACCN 3494

Other Finding Aids

File list available by request to the Duty Archivist

Archivist's Note

Collection box listed by Rachel Bell, Archive Assistant, 6 Sep 2010. Collection level description created by Rachael Muir, Archive Assistant, July 2012.

Related Material

Further papers for Professor Yonge can be found at the Natural History Museum, London (NCUACS 25.1.91) and Bristol University Information Services, Special Collections (DM2259 ). See NRA listing for details.