Thomson, Sir Charles Wyville, 1830–82, Scottish naturalist, noted as a marine biologist and deep-sea explorer. He participated in three deep-sea dredging expeditions (1868–70) and obtained evidence that animal life abounded in depths previously believed to be azoic; he recorded the results of his studies in The Depths of the Sea (1873), a classic in oceanography. He was director of the scientific work of the Challenger expedition (1872–76) and on his return was knighted and appointed director of a commission to distribute and study the collections of the expedition and to publish its results. He wrote an account of the cruise, The Voyage of the "Challenger" (1877).
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