Ronald Campbell Gunn

Ronald Campbell Gunn (AOT, PH30/1/697)

Ronald Campbell Gunn (180881), botanist, arrived in Tasmania in 1830 and became Superintendent of Convicts and Police Magistrate, eventually rising to Deputy Commissioner for Crown Lands for the island. His interest in botany was ignited by his friendship with RW Lawrence of Launceston, who corresponded with the great British botanist WJ Hooker. Gunn became a passionate biologist and travelled extensively, dedicating himself to collecting, recording and forwarding specimens of Tasmanian flora and fauna to Hooker. He also established a private botanic garden in Glen Dhu, Launceston. His contribution to botany is commemorated in Joseph Hooker's introduction to Flora Tasmaniae (1860). Originally over fifty species of Tasmanian plants contained Gunn's name. In 1854 Gunn became the first Tasmanian to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

Further reading: T Burns & J Skemp, Van Diemen's Land correspondents, Launceston, 1961; ADB 1.

Louise James