Papers of Professor George M. Dunnet

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

MS 3365 Fieldwork papers on research project on fulmar petrels on the Orkney island of Eynhallow, 1950s - 1970s. The papers comprise field notebooks; site summaries; and individual birds registers, recording ring number, date ringed, serial number, sex, date ringed, monel ring, year and date of observation, site, type of record (e.g. hand, site, etc.), activity (e.g. on egg, on chick, in flight, etc.), mate (records ring number), and additional remarks.

MS 3541 This deposit contains some further papers relating to Professor Dunnet's fulmar research, in particular, photographs of sites where birds were recorded, but there are also papers relating to his role as lecturer and professor at the University of Aberdeen, and as ecological advisor through the various organisations which he represented. These include files re. expeditions to Mole National Park, Ghana, 1974; Brazil, 1960s - 1970s; University of British Columbia, 1980s; and the Joint Aberdeen and Colombo Universities ecological expedition to Sri Lanka, 1978 and 1979 (for which field notebooks and printed reports are enclosed); files containing photocopies and articles re. penguins, 1970s; crown binder containing typed extracts (indexed) from academic papers on various natural history topics, ?1960s - 1970s; and correspondence with local and national organisations regarding environmental assessments, environmentally sensitive areas, etc., with related printed papers re. developments, recommendations, etc., 1970s - 1980s. In addition to these papers there is also a card index box containing Pyecroft's Petrel Burrow records, Lady Alice Island, 1982 - 1983.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Mackenzie Dunnet, son of John G. Dunnet, Officer of the Department of Agriculture for Scotland, was born in Dunnet, Caithness, on 19 Apr 1928. He graduated from the University of Aberdeen, BSc, 1949, PhD, 1952, and was awarded an honorary DSc in 1984. From 1952 - 1958 he was employed as research officer with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, in Australia, but in 1958 returned to Scotland where he was appointed lecturer in the Department of Natural History, at the University of Aberdeen. He became senior lecturer there in 1966, Professor of Zoology in 1971, and Regius Professor of Natural History in 1974. A leading international figure in nature conservation, he was president of the British Ecological Society, chairman of ten influential committees, and a member of many other related environmental organisations. In 1986 he was awarded an OBE, and in 1991 a CBE for his services to the environment. He died on 11 Sept 1995. He was married to Margaret H. Thomson, (MA, Aberdeen) on 5 Jan 1953.

For further details see Aberdeen University Review, 56 (1995 - 1996), 425 - 426; and The Ythan papers, presented in honour of George Dunnet at the University of Aberdeen Department of Zoology, 27, 28 and 29 March 1992, ed, by M.L. Gorman (Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen, Dept of Zoology, 1997).


None observed - listing in progress

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

GB 231 MS 3365 deposited in the University in 1991. GB 231 MS 3365 deposited in the University in 1991. GB 231 MS 3541 deposited in 1997.

Other Finding Aids

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures


No accruals expected

Related Material

Aberdeen University, Department of Zoology: Shelduck surveys and analysis [of research conducted under Professor Dunnet, at Culterty Field Station, Ythan, Aberdeenshire], 1950s - 1970s (GB 231 MS U 1250). This deposit, which is un-catalogued, comprises 24 volumes of field notebooks and bird registers, similar in content to those described in GB 231 MS 3365, above.

Additional Information

Not known

Corporate Names