PROFESSOR JOHN GRAHAM KERR is a son of James Kerr, M.A., H.E.I.C.S., and was born at Rowley Lodge, Hertfordshire, 18th September, 1869. He began his University education at Edinburgh in 1887. The years 1889-91 he spent in the wilds of South America, most of the time with an Argentine military exploring expedition on the river Pilcomayo, which came to a disastrous termination (cf. Scottish Geographical Magazine, Jan., 1892). In 1892 he entered Christ's College, Cambridge, where he took first-class honours in the Natural Science tripos, Part I. in 1894, and Part II. in 1896. In the latter year he started on a fresh expedition to the Gran Chaco to endeavour to investigate the life history and habits of the South American lung-fish, Lepidosiren paradoxa. He studied the creature among the tropical swamps in the territory of the Paisiapto Indians, in the interior of the Gran Chaco, where he observed its remarkable habits, and preserved for future laboratory study several thousand eggs and larvae illustrating all stages in its life history. After various adventures and considerable hardship the material was brought safely to the Paraguay River, and thence home.
In 1897 Mr. Kerr was appointed University Demonstrator in Animal Morphology at Cambridge. In 1898 he was awarded the Walsingham Gold Medal, and was elected a Fellow of Christ's College. In 1902 and 1903 he was Examiner in Zoology in the University of Cambridge, and in the former year he was appointed to the Chair of Natural History (now the Chair of Zoology) in the University of Glasgow. In 1903 he married his cousin, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Thomas Kerr, W.S., Edinburgh..
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)