William Ride

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William David Lindsay Ride AM (8 May 1926 – 6 November 2011), usually credited as W. D. L. Ride, was an Australian vertebrate zoologist and paleontologist who was the chair of the committee that authored updated editions of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.


Ride was born in London, England in 1926, the eldest son of Sir Lindsay Tasman Ride. In 1957 he was appointed Director of the Western Australian Museum, in Perth, as well as a Reader in Zoology at the University of Western Australia. In 1975 he was appointed Director of the Australian Biological Resources Study, located within the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), in Canberra.

Ride worked for the CSIRO 1974-1980. He also served as the head of the School of Applied Science, Canberra College of Advanced Education, 1982–87, and was appointed Principal of the College in 1987. Following retirement in 1987 he became a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University until 2002.

In 1984 Ride was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

He died in 2011 in Canberra, aged 85.


As well as numerous papers in the scientific literature, books authored or edited by Ride include:

  • Ride, W.D.L. (1970). A guide to the native mammals of Australia. (Illustrated by Ella Fry). OUP: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-550252-3
  • Groves, R.H.; & Ride, W.D.L. (Eds). (1982). Species at Risk: Research in Australia. (Proceedings of a Symposium on the Biology of Rare and Endangered Species in Australia, sponsored by the Australian Academy of Science and held in Canberra, 25 and 26 November 1981). Springer-Verlag.
  • Ride, W.D.L.; & Younes, T. (Eds). (1987). Biological Nomenclature Today. (IUBS Monograph Series No.2). OUP: USA. ISBN 1-85221-016-8