Doyle, Joseph (1891–1974), botanist, was born 25 March 1891 in Glasgow, son of Bernard Doyle, cabinetmaker, and his wife Elizabeth (née Maclachlan), but was educated in Dublin, at the O'Connell Schools and at UCD. After graduating in biology, in 1910, he travelled to Hamburg in Germany to continue his researches. On his return in 1913 he joined the staff of the biology department of UCD, before being appointed in 1924 to the newly founded chair of botany. He retired in 1961, having been very largely responsible for organising and developing the new department. During a long career he became an international authority on the reproductive biology of conifers. Important papers included a series on Podocarpus, an examination of pollination mechanisms in 1945, and two highly regarded studies of polyembryology in 1971 and 1972. His work resulted in a better understanding of the variations in embryogeny between species of conifers.
For over twenty years he urged the government to establish a state arboretum, particularly in a carefully argued paper in 1965. The John F. Kennedy park near New Ross, Co. Wexford, which opened in May 1968, eventually realised his dream. Doyle was elected a member (1927), served as secretary (1957–63) and held the office of president (1964–6) of the RIA. In 1942 he was awarded the Boyle medal of the RDS, of which he was vice-president from 1968 until his death in Dublin on 11 April 1974. He married Elizabeth J. Leonard, a lecturer in the department of botany at UCD, in 1919, and they had three sons and a daughter. His daughter Mary O'Reilly (d. 1987) became a lecturer in botany at UCD.