F.R.C. Reed (sometimes F.R. Cowper-Reed), British palaeontologist at the Woodwardian Museum, University of Cambridge, qualified as Doctor of Science (ScD) and was a Fellow of the Geological Society of London. His early scientific papers dealt with the British Carboniferous trilobites and related fossils and appeared in the Geological Magazine (1892-1900) in 12 parts. Subsequently he published extensively on the invertebrate fossil faunas of Brazil, India, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Argentina, Tibet, and South Africa. His more comprehensive publications included The geology of the British Empire (London, 1921), with sections on South Africa, Namibia (then the South West Africa Protectorate), and the islands Ascencion, St Helena, and Tristan da Cunha; and contributions dealing with the palaeontology of the brachiopoda (1891), the fossils of India (1906, 1908, 1910, 1922, 1936, 1944), British Ordovician and Silurian Bellerophontacea (molluscs; 1921), the Triassic fauna of Brazil (1929), and the fossil bivalves of Brazil (1940).
Reed's contributions to South African palaeontology consisted of a number of papers dealing mainly with the fossil fauna of the Bokkeveld Group. He first described "Brachiopoda from the Bokkeveld Beds" in the Annals of the South African Museum (1903, Vol. 4(3), pp. 165-200), followed by "Mollusca from the Bokkeveld Beds" (1904, Vol. 4(6), pp. 239-274). Additional species were described in the same journal in 1908, and his extensive "Revision of the fauna of the Bokkeveld Beds" followed in 1925 (Vol. 22(1), pp. 27-225). During the same year he described "Some new Lamellibranchs from the Bokkeveld Beds" in the Records of the Albany Museum (Vol. 3(4), pp. 257-260). His early work on the fauna of these strata was also described in three short papers in the Geological Magazine (1906-1907). Through these publications Reed, and Philip Lake*, were largely responsible for describing the Bokkeveld fauna. In his 1925 review Reed concluded that, though the fauna has an individuality of its own, it is related to the Lower Devonian of North America.
In later years Reed published two further palaeontological papers in South Africa. In one of these he described a trilobite specimen (Annals of the Natal Museum, 1931), while the other dealt with a new mollusc from the upper Dwyka Formation of Namibia (Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 1936).