John MacGillivray (1821 - 1867) was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, the son of ornithologist William MacGillivray. MacGillivray took part in three of the Royal Navy's surveying voyages in the Pacific. In 1842 he sailed as naturalist on board H.M.S. Fly, despatched to survey the Torres Strait, New Guinea, and the east coast of Australia, returning to England in 1846. In the same year he was appointed as botanist on the voyages of H.M.S. Rattlesnake (Captain Owen Stanley), collecting in Australian waters at Port Curtis, Rockingham Bay, Port Molle, Cape York, Gould Island, Lizard Island and Moreton Island in Queensland, Port Essington (Northern Territory) and visiting Sydney (New South Wales) on several occasions. The expedition was in Hobart, Tasmania, in June 1847 and also surveyed in Bass Strait, and on the southern coast of New Guinea and the Louisiade Archipelago.