Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Anderson, Edgar (United States 1897-1969)
plant genetics

Photo courtesy of the Botanical Society of America.
Most of Edgar Anderson's work as a botanist only peripherally touched on matters geographical; he is best known for his research on the genetics of hybridization, character variation measurement, and economic botany. Some sources regard him as a major figure in the development of the Neo-Darwinian evolutionary synthesis. One of his main interests at the Missouri Botanical Garden, however, was the development and naturalization of cultivated plants, and this caused him to give considerable attention to the environmental conditions under which plants grow, and in turn to those geographical areas from which new varieties might be obtained. He was also effective in his role as a popularizer of information related to gardening and other uses of plants.

Life Chronology

--born in Forestville, New York, on 9 November 1897.
--1918: B.S., Michigan State University
--1919: moves to Boston; enrolls at Harvard
--1920: M.S., Harvard University
--1922: Sc.D., Harvard University
--1923: hired as a geneticist at the Missouri Botanical Garden
--1923: made assistant professor, Washington University, St. Louis
--1929: receives National Research Fellowship to study at the John Innes Horticultural Institution
--1931-1935: works as arborist at the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard
--1935: hired at rank of professor, Missouri Botanical Garden
--1936: receives Decorated Order of the Yugoslavian Crown
--1937: made Engelmann professor of botany, Washington University
--1938: publishes "The Evidence for Introgressive Hybridization" in the American Journal of Botany, with L. Hubricht
--1941: gives the Jesup Lectures at Columbia University
--1943: receives Rockefeller grant to work with geographer Carl Sauer
--1943-1944: Guggenheim fellow
--1949: publishes his Introgressive Hybridization
--1952: publishes his Plants, Man, and Life
--1954-1957: director, Missouri Botanical Garden
--1954: elected to the National Academy of Sciences
--1957: made curator of useful plants, Missouri Botanical Garden
--1966: professor emeritus of botany, Washington University
--1967: retires from Missouri Botanical Garden
--dies at St. Louis, Missouri, on 18 June 1969.

For Additional Information, See:

--Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.), Vol. 49 (1978).
--American National Biography, Vol. 1 (1999).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 17 (1990).
--Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 32(2) (1999): 293-320.
--Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Vol. 82(1) (1995): 54-60.

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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