Books  General Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel 

James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Biography / Memoir

By: Simon Nathan (Author)

264 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations

Geoscience Society of New Zealand

Paperback | Sep 2015 | #226238 | ISBN-13: 9781877480461
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $37/€34 approx

About this book

James Hector was the dominant personality in the small nineteenth-century scientific community in New Zealand. As the first scientist employed by the government, he was the founder of the Geological Survey (now GNS Science), Colonial Museum (now Te Papa), New Zealand Institute (now Royal Society of New Zealand) and the Colonial Botanic Garden (now Wellington Botanic Garden), as well as being a trusted government advisor. Whenever a tricky technical problem arose, the first question was often, 'What does Dr Hector think?' Among his many achievements, Hector was the first to recognise and describe Hector's dolphin, to introduce and spread seeds of radiata pine and macrocarpa around New Zealand, and to standardise New Zealand time. He set up a national earthquake-recording system, the forerunner of today's GeoNet, and was one of the first observers to report on the disastrous 1886 Tarawera eruption.

James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader describes the life and work of this multi-talented man and the organisations he founded. It is aimed at the general reader with an interest in New Zealand's history and natural environment, and is generously illustrated.

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Simon Nathan is a geologist and writer with a fascination for the scientists who gradually came to understand the unique features of the New Zealand environment. Much of his career has been at GNS Science (where he is now an emeritus scientist), and he has also been science editor for Te Ara, the online Encyclopedia of New Zealand. As well as technical publications, he has written biographies of Harold Wellman (the man who discovered the Alpine Fault) and Joseph Divis (mining town photographer).

Bestsellers in this subject

In Pursuit of Butterflies

NHBS Special Offer Price: £7.50 £10.99 (Save £3.49) $9/€8 approx (ends 31/12/2016)

Where the Wild Thyme Blew

NHBS Price: £14.99 $18/€17 approx

Britain's Treasure Islands

NHBS Price: £24.99 £29.99 (Save £5.00) $31/€28 approx

The Secret Lives of Bats

NHBS Price: £22.99 $28/€26 approx

Alfred Russel Wallace

NHBS Price: £12.99 $16/€15 approx