Kettlewell , Henry Bernard Davis

Kettlewell , Henry Bernard Davis
(1907–1979) British geneticist and lepidopterist
Kettlewell was educated at Cambridge University and St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, where he gained his medical qualification in 1933. He practiced in Cranleigh and then worked as an anesthetist in Surrey. After the war he worked in South Africa at the International Locust Control Centre in Cape Town before returning to Britain in 1952 as research fellow in genetics at Oxford, a post he continued to hold until his retirement in 1974.
Kettlewell is best known for his work on the occurrence of melanism – black pigmentation in the epidermis of animals. In 1953 he set out to explain why, in the mid-19th century, certain moth species had a light coloration, which camouflaged them on such backgrounds as light tree trunks where they sat motionless during the day. However by the 1950s, of 760 species of larger moths in Britain 70 had changed their light color and markings for dark or even totally black coloration.
Kettlewell suspected that the success of the melanic form was linked with the industrial revolution and the consequent darkening of the trees by the vast amounts of smoke produced by the 19th-century factories. To test his hypothesis he released large numbers of the dark and light forms of the peppered moth, Biston betularia, in the polluted woods around Birmingham and in a distant unpolluted forest. As many of the released moths as possible were recaptured and when the results were analyzed it was found that the light form had a clear advantage over the dark in the unpolluted forest but in the polluted Birmingham woods the result was just the opposite. From this Kettlewell concluded that if the environment of a moth changes so that it is conspicuous by day, then the species is ruthlessly hunted by predators until it mutates to a form better suited to its new environment. His work was seen as a convincing and dramatic confirmation of the Darwinian hypothesis of evolution through natural selection.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bernard Kettlewell — Henry Bernard Davis Kettlewell (24 February 1907 1979) was a British geneticist, lepidopterist and medical doctor, who carried out important research into the influence of industrial melanism on natural selection in moths, showing why moths are… …   Wikipedia

  • Industriemelanismus — Helle Morphe des Birkenspanners …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lepidopterist — Ein Lepidopterologe ist eine Person, die Schmetterlinge (Lepidoptera) untersucht und erforscht. Die Schmetterlinge sind eine Ordnung der Insekten. Bekannte Lepidopterologen (Auswahl) Jean Baptiste Boisduval Henry Doubleday Edmund Brisco Ford… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elliot Pinhey — Infobox Celebrity name = Elliot Charles Gordon Pinhey caption = Elliot Pinhey on a field trip on the edge of Dichwe forest, Rhodesia in 1978, taken by Cathy Car birth date = 18 July 1910 birth place = Knokke, Brugge, Belgium death date = 8 May… …   Wikipedia

  • List of sportspeople by nickname — This is a list of sportspeople by nickname.Aviation sport * The Flying Matador = Alejandro Maclean, drifting driver [ tuerck.html] * Hap or Happy = Kevin Harvick, flagicon|USA auto racer * Haru = Haruchika Aoki …   Wikipedia

  • List of Tales of the Unexpected episodes — This is a list of episodes of the British drama series, Tales of the Unexpected. Contents 1 Series one 2 Series two 3 Series three 4 Series four …   Wikipedia

  • List of drug-related deaths — The following is a list of notable people who have died from drug related causes. Criteria for inclusion are death from overdose, death from organ failure/illness due to or exacerbated by drug use, or death from suicide/misadventure under the… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Somerset CCC players — This is a list of all cricketers who have played first class or list A cricket for Somerset County Cricket Club to the end of the 2007 season. Click on the CA to access the [ Cricket Archive] entry for the player. Seasons …   Wikipedia