William Alexander Deer

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William Alexander "Alex" Deer FRS (26 October 1910 – 8 February 2009) was a British geologist.

Deer was an Honorary Fellow of St John's College and Trinity Hall Cambridge. After completing his PhD in 1937, Deer was took the post of assistant lecturer at the University of Manchester.[1]

Dear was Professor of Mineralogy and Petrology at the University of Cambridge from 1961, Master of Trinity Hall from 1966 to 1975, and Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University from 1971 to 1973.

He was an editor, along with Robert Andrew Howie and Jack Zussman, of the reference work Rock-Forming Minerals and the abridged version, An Introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals. The mineral deerite (IMA 1964-016) was named in his honour.

Deer married Margaret Marjorie Kidd, daughter of the electrical engineer William Kidd, in 1939 at St Paul's Methodist Church, Didsbury.[1]


  • Deer, William Alexander; Wager, Lawrence Rickard (1939). "Olivines from the Skaergaard Intrusion, Kangerdlugssuak, East Greenland" (PDF). American Mineralogist. 24: 18–25.
  • Deer, William Alexander; Howie, Robert Andrew; Zussman, Jack (1962). Rock-forming Minerals. Wiley. Note: 5 volumes
  • Deer, William Alexander; Howie, Robert Andrew; Zussman, Jack (1992). An Introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals (2 ed.). London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-30094-0.
  • Deer, William Alexander; Howie, Robert Andrew; Zussman, Jack (2009). Rock-forming Minerals. Geological Society. Note: 11 volumes


  1. ^ a b Goldman, Lawrence. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2005-2008. OUP Oxford. p. 305. ISBN 9780199671540. Retrieved 15 February 2017.

External links[edit]

  • "William Alexander Deer, 1910-2009". The Geological Society. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
  • Obituary in The Times
  • Agrell S O, Bown M G, McKie D (1965). "Deerite, howieite, and zussmanite, three new minerals from the Franciscan of the Laytonville District, Mendicino Co., California". American Mineralogist. 50: 278-278.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
Academic offices
Preceded by
Ivor Jennings
Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Theodore Morris Sugden
Preceded by
Owen Chadwick
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge
Succeeded by
John Wilfrid Linnett