Geologist. Jamieson was raised in Ellon (Aberdeenshire), serving as Factor of the Ellon Castle Estate for many years. He later farmed at Mains of Waterton, 1¼ miles (2 km) to the east. In 1862, he was appointed Fordyce Lecturer in Agriculture at the University of Aberdeen. He carried out notable research in Quaternary geology and the geomorphology of Scotland, realising that sea-levels had dropped since the time of the glaciers and developing what we now know as the Theory of Isostasy. This suggests that the earth's crust flexes under the weight of glacial ice, and that after the ice melts a process of re-bound occurs such that areas which experience the most significant fall is sea-level were subject to the thickest layers of ice. As evidence he cited the existence of recent marine fossils, and the skeleton of a 9000 year-old whale, on what is now dry land in the Carse of Stirling. Jamieson also investigated boulders deposited from glaciers and the 'Parallel Roads' of Glen Roy where, encouraged by Sir Charles Lyell (1797 - 1875) and Charles Darwin (1809-82), he visited in 1861.
He was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London in 1862.