H. W. Harvey

H. W. Harvey

Dr Hildebrand Wolfe Harvey CBE FRS (born 31 December 1887, Streatham, London, died Plymouth, Devon, 26 November 1970) was an English marine biologist.


Harvey was the elder son of Henry Allington Harvey, a partner in the firm of Foster, Mason and Hervey, of Mitcham, Surrey, paint manufacturers, and his wife, Laetitia, who was a daughter of Peter Kingsley Wolfe and a descendant of General James Wolfe, hero of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.


After attending Gresham's School, Holt, from 1902 to 1906, he went up to Downing College, Cambridge, to read Natural Sciences.

War service

During World War I Harvey served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He navigated minesweepers and patrol vessels.


In 1921 he joined the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom in Plymouth as a hydrographical assistant. His early work was on the oceanography of the western English Channel.

In 1928 he published a monograph on the chemistry and physics of sea water, and in 1933 a classic paper on the rate of diatom growth. With three colleagues he wrote a seminal paper on plankton and its control.

In 1952 he received the Alexander Agassiz Medal of the United States National Academy of Sciences. In recommending the award, the Murray committee said::"H. W. Harvey has been the leading student for many years of the changes in the chemical constituents of sea water brought about through the agencies of plants and animals and also of how the availability of nutrient chemicals determines the fertility of the sea.


Harvey's published work includes:
*"The Action of Poisons upon Chlamydomonas and other vegetable Cells" (1909)
*"Note on the Surface Electric Charges of Living Cells" (1911)
*"On Manganese in Sea and Fresh Waters"
*"Hydrography of the Mouth of the English Channel" (1929-1932)
*"Über das Kohlensäuresystem im Meerwasser" by Kurt Buch, H. W. Harvey, H. Wattenberg, and S. Gripenberg (Conseil Perm. Internat. p. l'Explor. de la Mer, Rapp. et Proc.-Verb. (v. 79, 1932)
*"Note on Colloidal Ferric Hydroxide in Sea Water" (1937)
*"Note on Selective Feeding by Calanus" (1937)
*"Recent Advances in the Chemistry and Biology of Sea Water" (Cambridge University Press, 1945)
*"On the production of living matter in the sea off Plymouth" (Journal of the Marine Biological Association, 1950)
*"The Chemistry and Fertility of Sea Waters" (Cambridge University Press, 1966)


*Fellow of the Royal Society, 1942
*Alexander Agassiz Medal, 1952
*Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 1958


In 1923 he married Elsie Marguerite Sanders, but they later divorced. In 1933 he married secondly Marjorie Joan Sarjeant, and they had one son.


*"Hildebrand Wolfe Harvey (1887–1970), marine biologist" by L. H. N. Cooper in "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography" (Oxford University Press, 2004)
*"Hildebrand Wolfe Harvey, 1887-1970" by L. H. N. Cooper in "Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society", volume 18 (November, 1972), pages 330-347
*"Biological Oceanography: an early history 1870-1960" by E.L. Mills (Cornell University Press, 1989)
* [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/33747 H.W. Harvey at DNB online]
* [http://www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AWARDS_agassiz Alexander Agassiz Medal]

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