Dobson, George Edward (1848–95), zoologist, was born 4 September 1848 at Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, the eldest son of Parke Dobson, a doctor in Edgeworthstown, who was of a family from Killinagh, Co. Westmeath, and his wife, Jane, née Brock or van den Brock, who was the daughter of Andrew Brock of Longford. They had four more sons and three daughters. George Dobson was educated at the Royal School, Enniskillen, and at TCD, where he graduated BA in 1866, MB and M.Ch. in 1867 and MA in 1875. He was first senior moderator and first gold medallist in experimental and natural science, as well as recipient of the gold medal of the Dublin Pathological Society for an essay on injuries to, and diseases of, the shoulder joint. Dobson's career with the army medical department (1868–88), in which he attained the rank of surgeon-major, was cut short by ill-health.
Zoological researches occupied much of his attention while posted in India and elsewhere. His specialist area, in which he was recognised as a world authority, was the structure and classification of three mammalian groups: insectivores, rodents and bats. He devoted himself to the study of Indian bats and wrote a number of accounts, the most important of which was a monograph of 1876 on Asiatic bats, which was published by the Indian Museum. This led to his employment by the British Museum to catalogue the collection of bats there in 1878. His catalogue remained the standard work on the subject for many years. Dobson was placed in charge of the museum of the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley and broadened his zoological interests to include insectivores. He worked on an ambitious Monograph of the insectivora, systematic and anatomical, and published sections between 1882 and 1890, but it was unfinished at the time of his death. His most popular work was Medical hints to travellers, which reached a seventh edition in 1893. He published widely on zoology and comparative anatomy and was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society, London, on 16 April 1874, of the Royal Society, London, on 7 June 1883 and of the Zoological Society, London; he was also a corresponding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and of the Biological Society, Washington. He presented some of his most important type specimens to the Natural History Museum, Dublin. He died 26 November 1895 at West Malling, Kent, and was buried there.