Although he trained and worked as a physician, George Johnston was a botanist and zoologist at heart. His studies in natural history resulted in some ninety articles in scientific journals and several books on British flora and fauna. In 1831 he was one of the founders of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club and became its first president. Most of his life he lived in and rarely left his beloved Berwick, and his first major publication was 'The Flora of Berwick-upon-Tweed', which was illustrated by his wife. Other publications include the 'History of British Zoophytes' and his 'History of British Sponges and Lithophytes', which may be the volumes on his desk in this portrait.