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Sir John Burton Cleland CBE

Sir John Burton Cleland CBE (22 June 1878 – 11 August 1971) was a renowned Australian naturalist, microbiologist, mycologist and ornithologist. In other words he was an expert of natural history, an expert in the studies of fungi, an expert in the study of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, an expert of some types of parasites and an expert on birds.

Which is disappointing as it probably means Cleland wanted to examine Webb’s long dead brain for evidence of a particular bacteria or virus that may have contributed to his death.

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‘John Burton Cleland was born in Norwood, South Australia, on 22nd June 1878, the son of medical practitioner William Lennox Cleland and his wife Matilda Lauder (née Burton). He chose medicine for his professional career, specializing in pathology and public health, but also made notable contributions in botany, ornithology, anthropology and wildlife conservation. He published hundreds of scientific articles and, at his death in 1971, was the oldest member of the Royal Society of South Australia, having been a Fellow for over 75 years and Honorary Fellow since 1949.’

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