Ref NoMS/144
TitleDiary of an Expedition to Abyssinia - J. Omer-Cooper
AdminHistoryJoseph Omer-Cooper (1893 - 1972) was a taxonomist, morphologist, entomologist and lecturer in Zoology. He specialised in African fauna and ecology and became a prominent figure in the Zoology Department at Rhodes University College.

Omer-Cooper was born on 16 April 1893 in Reading, England and studied Zoology at Cambridge University as an Undergraduate and Masters Student. Between 1924 and 1927 Omer-Cooper worked in the Department of Zoology at Cambridge as a demonstrator and lecturer, and then as lecturer at University of Durham in 1927 until he left to teach in Rhodes, South Africa.

In 1936 Omer-Cooper was appointed senior lecturer of Zoology at Rhodes University College and became the Head of Department in 1937, taking over from Alice Lyle. He was appointed the University's Chair of Zoology in 1940, through which he not only developed the study of Entomology as a distinct discipline, but also the expanded the Department's buildings and number of lecturing staff. These developments resulted in the Department being renamed as the Department of Zoology and Entomology.

During his time in Rhodes he went on various collecting expeditions with his wife, Joyce Omer-Cooper, to other African countries, including Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Malawi, Sudan, Nigeria and Chad. Omer-Cooper continued to work for the University until his retirement in 1954. At this time he served as the President for both the Entomological Society of Southern Africa and the South African Association for the Advancement of Science.

Joseph Omer-Cooper died on 9 November 1972.
Description2 notebooks entitled 'Expedition to Abyssinia, 1926' by Joseph Omer-Cooper documenting his entomological investigation of the Abyssinian freshwaters, with a particular focus on woodlice. Also includes details of travelling, companions, and scenery and his health. The first diary (MS/144a), dated 17 August - 27 October 1926, includes 2 sections at the start entitled 'Equipment taken to Abyssinia' and 'Notes on camp equipment etc.'. The second notebook (MS/144) is dated 28 October - 31 December 1926.
Extent2 volumes
Related MaterialMS/144, MS/145, MS/146, MS/150
Creator NameCooper, J. Omer (1893 - 1972)
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