Charles robert Darwin (1809–1882) was a British naturalist and biologist. He is well-known for his theory of evolution and his understanding of the process of natural selection. In 1859, he published his path-breaking book, On the Origin of Species. Darwin was born in the town of Shrewsbury, England. His father, Dr. R.W. Darwin, was a medical doctor, and his grandfather, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, was a botanist. His mother, Susanna, died when he was eight years old. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh and Christ’s College in Cambridge. His father hoped he would become a medical doctor or a parson, but he preferred to study Natural History. At Christ’s College, botany professor John Stevens Henslow became young Darwin’s mentor. Professor Henslow recommended him for a naturalist’s position aboard the HMS Beagle, which was slated to take a five-year survey trip around the world. On 27 December 1831, the HMS Beagle set out with Darwin aboard. During this voyage, Darwin collected a variety of natural specimens. His observations led him to formulate the seminal theory of evolution.