Erwin Lorenz Zodrow, 1995. "Walter Andrew Bell (1889–1969): Canadian paleobotanist and earth scientist", Historical Perspective of Early Twentieth Century Carboniferous Paleobotany in North America, Paul C. Lyons, Elsie Darrah Morey, Robert H. Wagner
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Walter Andrew Bell (1889–1969) is considered the “Father of Canadian Carboniferous Biostratigraphy.” He was one of the most distinguished members of the Geological Survey of Canada.
Bell’s association with the Canadian Geological Survey spanned almost 60 years, and his research covered a wide geological spectrum but had crystal-clear focus. His greatest goal and accomplishment was the establishment of the major stratigraphic subdivisions of the Carboniferous System of the Canadian Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and of Newfoundland. He used both plants and invertebrate fossils for correlating the Carboniferous subdivisions of the Maritimes with those of the Carboniferous System of western Europe. This work represented a major advance in the understanding of Carboniferous correlations with western Europe and remains relevant. He also studied the floras of the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Systems of western Canada.
From his early years as a paleobotanist he rose to become director of the Geological Survey of Canada (1949–1953), a position he occupied with distinction. Bell was also an educator who shared his knowledge with professionals and the public alike. His life’s work was acknowledged by the many rewards he received.