Nevill Willmer was born in Birkenhead in 1902. His family had a holiday home in Wales, where he first began to develop skills of wildlife identification and specimen painting. He was educated at Birkenhead School, then at Corpus Christi, Oxford, where he gained a first class degree in zoology. He was appointed a demonstrator in physiology at Manchester in 1924, then became a lecturer in physiology at Cambridge in 1930. He later became professor of histology at Cambridge (1966-9).
Willmer was elected a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge in 1936, and designed the fellows' garden there, one of his most significant achievements.
Skaer, Richard, Willmer, '(Edward) Nevill (1902-2001)' Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2006) <http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/75831> [ accessed 29 June 2009]