100 years ago today, British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace died at his home in Dorset. Wallace is well-known to biologists as the co-discoverer with Charles Darwin of a theory of biological evolution and perhaps even better remembered as the father of biogeography, the study of the distribution of plants and animals in space and time. His two-volume 1876 treatise on The Geographical Distribution of Animals detailed the differences in animal distributions among major global regions which he mapped and named (see figure). Darwin has been celebrated regularly since the 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species. Wallace gets far less attention for his contributions and he is not the cultural icon that is Darwin. Nonetheless, Wallace has loyal supporters who have produced a worldwide celebration, Wallace100, to review and revive his legacy.
Dr. George Beccaloni, a cockroach specialist at the Natural History Museum, London, is one of the passionate leaders of the celebration who oversees an informative website on all things Wallace: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/science-of-natural-history/wallace/ .