Elected F.R.S. 1973
Douglas Scott Falconer obtained a first–class honours degree in Zoology at St Andrews University followed by a PhD at Cambridge for research on wireworms. He then worked with R. A. (later Sir Ronald) Fisher FRS, as a prelude to joining the ARC Genetics Section of its Animal Breeding and Genetics Research Organisation at Edinburgh University. There he spent the rest of his career, later becoming Head of Unit and a personal professor in the university.His research interests fell into three main categories: the formal genetics of the mouse, quantitative genetics, and the genetics of human diseases. His work on mouse mutants and gene linkage was a major contribution to mapping the mouse genome, and his research in quantitative genetics produced theoretical and practical findings that have been of much benefit to animal breeders and to human geneticists as well as to the understanding of traits of complex inheritance.From his research and teaching he developed his acclaimed textbook Introduction to quantitative genetics, which ran to four editions in 36 years. The book is used as a foundation text worldwide.Douglas was much admired as a stimulating and innovative scientist, a considerate and polite colleague, and family gentleman.