William John Swainson (1789 –1855) was an English ornithologist, malacologist, conchologist, entomologist and artist.
William followed in his father’s footsteps to become a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1815. In 1806 he accompanied the English explorer Henry Koster to Brazil. Swainson was a member of learned societies, including the Wernerian Society of Edinburgh and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society after his return from Brazil on 14 December 182 He emigrated to New Zealand in 1841. He was involved in property management and natural history-related publications from 1841 to 1855, and forestry-related investigations in Tasmania, New South Wales, and Victoria from 1851 to 1853. Swainson died at Fern Grove, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, on 6 December 1855.
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