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Bourne, Geoffrey Howard (1909–1988)

Geoffrey Howard Bourne (1909-1988) nutritionist, expatriate university vice-chancellor

Birth: 17 November 1909 in Perth, Western Australia, son of Walter Howard Bourne, and Mary Ann (Minnie), née Mellen. Marriage: 26 December 1935 in Melbourne, Victoria, to Gwenllian Myfanwy (Gwen) Jones. They had two sons. Death: 19 July 1988 in hospital at Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

  • Educated at the Sacred Heart Convent, Highgate, he won a government secondary school bursary and went on to Perth Modern School and the University of Western Australia (D. Sc., 1935), where he was a successful distance runner – State mile champion in 1931.
  • He won a Hackett research scholarship in 1933 and in 1935 moved to Canberra to continue research at the Institute of Anatomy. He left Australia in 1938 to undertake research at the Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Oxford, England, and was awarded the prestigious Alfred Beit Memorial Research Fellowship.
  • During World War II Bourne worked with the British Army in Malaya and in 1945 was advisor on rations and biological problems in India.
  • After the war he was on the staff of the Physiology Department, University of Oxford and from 1947 to 1957 was reader in histology at the University of London.
  • From 1957 to 1962 he chaired the anatomy department at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1962. Was director of the primate research center, Atlanta, in 1962-1978.
  • Vice chancellor and professor of nutrition at St George’s University school of Medicine, in Grenada, West Indies, from 1978 to his death, during which time (1983) the Ronald Reagan administration launched a military invasion, allegedly for concern over the US medical students there.
  • Sometime editor of the World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics. Among his publications are Nutrition and the War (London, 1940), Wartime Food for Mother and Child (London, 1942), Starvation in Europe (London, 1943), How Your Body Works, (London, 1949) The Mammalian Adrenal Gland (Oxford, 1949), The Ape People (1971) and The Gentle Giants: the Gorilla Story (1975).
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Bourne, Geoffrey Howard (1909–1988)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/bourne-geoffrey-howard-32672/text40570, accessed 16 August 2022.

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