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George Albert Boulenger (19 October 1858 – 23 November 1937) was a Belgian-British zoologist who described and gave scientific names to over 2,000 new animal species, chiefly fish, reptiles and amphibians. Boulenger was also an active botanist during the last thirty years of his life, especially in the study of roses.
Boulenger was born in Brussels, Belgium, the only son of Gustave Boulenger, a Belgian public notary, and Juliette Piérart de Valenciennes. He graduated in 1876 from the Free University in Brussels with a degree in natural sciences and worked for a while at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels as an assistant naturalist studying amphibians, reptiles, and fishes. He also made frequent visits during this time to the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris and the British Museum in London.
In 1880, he was invited to work at the Natural History Museum, then a department of the British Museum, by Dr. Albert C. L. G. Günther and assigned to the task of cataloguing the amphibians in the collection. His position in the British Museum meant that he had to be a civil servant of the British Empire, and so became a naturalized British subject. In 1882 he became a first-class assistant in the Department of Zoology and remained in that position until his retirement in 1920.
After his retirement from the British Museum, Boulenger studied roses and published 34 papers on botanical subjects and two volumes on the roses of Europe. He died in Saint Malo, France.
According to biographical accounts, he was incredibly methodical and had an amazing memory that enabled him to remember every specimen and scientific name he ever saw. He also had extraordinary powers of writing and seldom made a second draft of anything he wrote and his manuscripts showed but few corrections before going to the publisher.