Mellanby, Kenneth

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Mellanby, Kenneth (1908–93)A British ecologist who was one of the first scientists to warn of the harmful effects on wildlife of certain insecticides and who became a leading world authority on all forms of environmental pollution. Mellanby studied zoology and entomology at the University of Cambridge, conducted research in medical entomology, which he continued during the Second World War as a major in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and after the war was appointed principal, and professor of parasitology, at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. In 1955 he became head of entomology at the Rothamsted Experimental Station and from 1961 to 1974 he was director of the Monks Wood Experimental Station (Nature Conservancy, later Institute of Terrestrial Ecology). It was there that major studies were conducted on the effect of toxic chemicals on wildlife. Despite his strong commitment to environmental improvement, he was scathing about the pessimism of many environmentalists. He was the author of several books, including Pesticides and Pollution (1967), Can Britain Feed Itself? (1975), Waste and Pollution (1992), and The DDT Story (1992).