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Walter Reginald Brook Oliver

W. R. B. Oliver, 1883-1957, is probably best known for his works on birds - particularly his major book, New Zealand Birds (1930, with a major revision in 1955) which is still among the most valuable sources on our birds.

However, his interests and accomplishments were varied; his revision of T. F. Cheeseman’s Manual of the New Zealand flora , published in 1925, and his monographs of such plant genera as Metrosideros, Dracophyllum, Coprosma, Coriaria and Aciphylla earned him worldwide recognition as a botanist. His monograph on the moa (1949) and his paper on bird evolution (1945) as well as his book on New Zealand Birds - gave him equal status as an ornithologist. His account of the whales and dolphins of New Zealand (1922) remained the standard work on this group for many years. He retained his early interest in molluscs and published several useful revisions. Another early interest was inter-tidal ecology, and his 1923 paper on marine littoral plant and animal communities was a pioneer work of international standing.

Credit: Dictionary of New Zealand Biography
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