Wilfred Eade Agar

Biography of Wilfred Eade Agar

Wilfred Eade Agar in register of Research Students, 1904
Wilfred Eade Agar in register of Research Students, 1904

Wilfred Eade Agar, a British-born Australian Zoologist, was appointed demonstrator and research fellow in 1904, and graduated DSc from the University of Glasgow in 1909.

Born at Wimbledon, England, he graduated BA in Zoology in 1903 and MA in 1907 from King's College, Cambridge. In 1904, Agar was appointed demonstrator in Zoology at the University of Glasgow under Professor Graham Kerr, who had demonstrated at Cambridge and was also one of Agar's examiners. Agar began his "fifteen years of happy association with Graham Kerr" under whose mentorship, he began research on the subject "Development of skeletons in Lepidosiren and other Difnois.” In 1907, Agar set out for the Paraguayan Chaco, as Kerr had done before him, to collect material suitable for cytological examination. Agar's work on the embryology of the lungfish Lepidosiren and Protopterus led to a fellowship at King's College, Cambridge in 1907. Remaining in Glasgow to carry out his research, Agar obtained his DSc in 1909 with the thesis The development of the anterior mesoderm, and paired fins with their nerves, in lepidosiren and protopterus... (and other papers).

During the First World War, Agar, a member of the Territorial Reserve of Officers, was posted captain to the 5th (City of Glasgow) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry and sent to Gallipoli in June 1915 until illness saw him returned to his University post by 1918. A series of lectures on sex and heredity, delivered in Glasgow betwwen 1917-18 by Frederick Orpen Bower, Graham Kerr and Agar was published in 1919.

In the same year, Agar accepted the chair of Zoology at the University of Melbourne, where he introduced the newer disciplines of cytology and genetics. In 1921 Agar was elected to the Royal Society, and his services to science and to the University of Melbourne were recognized by an OBE in 1939 and a CBE in 1948.


Wilfred Eade Agar
Born 27 April 1882.
Died 14 July 1951.
University Link: Graduate, Researcher
GU Degree: DSc, 1909; Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences,
Occupation categories: zoologists
Record last updated: 30th Nov 2015

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