The work of Thomas Malthus was studied by Charles Darwin. Malthus, an English scholar and social economist, observed that high population growth is controlled by such natural catastrophes as famine and disease. Darwin applied this observation to animal populations and formulated his theory of natural selection.
Malthus' work was influential to such evolutionary biologists as Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. His book, "An Essay on the Principle of Population" was published in 1798 and detailed many of the ideas that would influence Darwin. Malthus was born in Surrey, England in 1766 and died in Bath, England in 1834 at age 68.