Alfred Russel Wallace was born on this day in 1823 (he died in 1913). You know of him as the other guy who invented a theory of Natural Selection which was very like Darwin’s; they published the theory together. He also spent considerable time traveling around on boats in the tropics, like Darwin did, and collected one or two items that made it back to to various museums.
One of the most awful tragedies of 19th century science happened to Wallace, when on July 12th, 1852, the ship he and his very important and interesting insect specimens, and notes, that he was taking back to the UK from the Rio Negro area caught fire and sank. He and others survived in a life boat and were eventually picked up.
He wrote some stuff, including Darwinism, The Malay Archipelago, and numerous academic papers, and much has been written about him, including Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life, and The Heretic in Darwin’s Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace. The Alfred Wallace Russel Page is here.