Allman, George James (1812–98), botanist and zoologist, was born at Cork, son of James Clugston Allman, a cotton manufacturer and, later, a distiller at nearby Bandon, and his wife, Sarah, née Lane; he was educated at the RBAI. He graduated BA (1839) and MB (1843) at TCD, and was elected MRIA (10 April 1843) and a fellow of the RCSI (1844). Turning to research, he was appointed professor of botany at TCD (also in 1844) in succession to his namesake William Allman (qv), to whom, however, he is not known to have been related. George James Allman's career unfolded mainly in Scotland, where he was regius professor of natural history at Edinburgh University (1856–70). He was elected FRS (1854), and was president of the Linnean Society (1874–81) and of the British Association (1879). He was awarded the royal medal of the Royal Society (1873), the Brisbane medal of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1877), the Cunningham medal of the RIA (1878), and the gold medal of the Linnean Society (1896).
His major scientific contributions were in the field of marine and freshwater invertebrates, particularly Bryozoa (Polyzoa) and hydroids. Allman was the author of two books, A monograph of the freshwater Polyzoa (1856) and A monograph of the gymnoblastic or tubularian hydroids (2 vols, 1871–2), which remain important sources. He published many papers in the field of zoology and a few in that of botany. In 1874 he refused nomination for the constituency of Bandon as a liberal. He served as a Scottish fisheries commissioner (1855–81) and on the royal commission on the Queen's Colleges (1876). George James Allman retired in 1870 and moved to Dorset, where he died 24 November 1898; he was buried at Poole. At his death his estate was worth more than £13,000. He was married to Hannah, third daughter of Samuel Shaen of Crix, Essex, but had no children.