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George Carver Clerk

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Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Accra, Ghana

George Carver Clerk was a Ghanaian botanist and plant pathologist. He later became an emeritus professor at the University of Ghana, Legon. He was born on 29 July 1931 in Accra, Gold Coast to Carl Henry Clerk (1895–1982), an agricultural educator, journalist, and Presbyterian minister who was the fourth Synod Clerk of the Presbyterian Church of the Gold Coast, and Martha Ayorkor Quao. His older brother was Nicholas T. Clerk (1930–2012), a former GIMPA Rector.

Education and training

He attended the Presbyterian primary schools at Somanya and had his secondary education at the Presbyterian Boys' Secondary and later the University College of the Gold Coast where he graduated with first-class honors and won the first prize as the best graduating student in botany from the University of London.

G. C. Clerk was also awarded a postgraduate research fellowship at the University of London and the University of Bristol. He earned a joint PhD-DIC in botany, with a sub-concentration in physiological mycology, from Imperial College London where he wrote his dissertation on asexual spores of parasitic fungi growing on the bodies of insects.

For three years he taught biology at the Prempeh College while serving as the assistant housemaster there.

He was also an instructor of mathematical sciences in adult education. He then became a researcher at the Plant Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and later became a professor of botany at the University of Ghana, Legon when he joined the institution in 1964.

At the University of Ghana, he served as the Senior Tutor of the Senior Common Room and was the Hall Master for Akuafo Hall from 1979 to 1980, a hall he had lived in as a student he also served as the departmental head and was appointed the Dean of Graduate Studies at the university.

He was from 1996 to 1998 a board director at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission along with his academic colleague, Marian Ewurama Addy, the first Ghanaian woman professor of natural science. He was a resource person, chief examiner for biology, and a consultant to the West African Examinations Council.

George Carver was an external examiner and an assessor for faculty promotions at other institutions of higher education as well as a regional representative of the Association of African Universities. He was also a trustee in the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, the Volta Basin Research Project, and the Water Research Institute, formerly the Institute for Aquatic Biology et.

G. C. Clerk was married with seven his children were Judith, George, Jnr., Nicholas, Theodore, Daniel, and Dinah.

George Clerk died in Accra on 2 May 2019 after a short illness. He was buried at the Osu Cemetery in Accra after the funeral at the Akuafo Hall Chapel on the campus of the University of Ghana .


Clerk, G. C. (1963) “Studies on the survival and germination of conidia of three entomogenous fungi.” London.

(contrib.) Ewer, D. W.; Hall, J. B.; Clerk, G. C. (1972) “Ecological biology: for A-level and intermediate students in Africa." London: Longman

Clerk, G. C. (1974) "Crops and their diseases in Ghana." Tema: Ghana Pub. Corp.

(contrib.) Senteza Kajubi, W.; Clerk, G. C. et al. (1974) "African Encyclopedia." Oxford University Press.

(contrib.) Ewer, D. W.; Hall, J. B.; Clerk, G. C.; Coker, W. Z.; Oldman, R. S.; Owen, D. F. et al. (1989) “Ecological biology. 1: Organisms and their environments." Harlow: Longman.

Clerk, G. C. (1995) "Analysis and Interpretation of Biological Data for Senior Secondary Schools." Accra: Fairfield Publications