Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Axelrod, Daniel Isaac (United States 1910-1998)
paleobotany, phytogeography

Whether one chooses to call Dan Axelrod a paleobotanist, phytogeographer, paleoecologist, or simply a botanist, he was a major figure among mid-twentieth century workers interested in the reconstruction of past environments. As one obituary put it, "his work was aimed at professionals in five areas: geology, plant systematics, ecology, evolution, and biogeography." Geographically, his emphasis was on western North American landscapes; temporally, on Tertiary deposits. But he dealt with all kinds of paleoecologies, ranging from desert to coniferous forests, and was especially interested in evidence bearing on the role of changing climates in the development of regional floras. He also wrote from time to time on life's past mass extinction episodes, conservation, and the relation of plate tectonics to paleobotany and evolution.

Life Chronology

--born in Brooklyn, New York, on 16 July 1910.
--1933: B.A., University of California, Berkeley
--1934-1936: works for the California Forest Service
--1936: M.A., UC Berkeley
--1938: Ph.D., UC Berkeley
--1939-1941: research fellow, U.S. National Museum
--1942-1946: photo interpreter for the U. S. Army in the Far East; reaches rank of Major and is awarded the bronze star
--1946-1948: assistant professor, UCLA
--1948-1952: associate professor, UCLA
--1952: made professor of geology, UCLA
--1952-1953: Guggenheim fellow
--1958: publishes "Evolution of the Madro-Tertiary Geoflora" in Botanical Review
--1962-1967: professor of geology and botany, UCLA
--1968: professor of botany, University of California, Davis
--1972: receives the New York Botanical Garden Award
--1975: publishes "Evolution and Biogeography of Madrean-Tethyan Sclerophyll Vegetation" in Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden
--1976: retires from UC Davis
--1979: receives the Hayden Memorial Geology Award of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
--1980: receives the Fellows Medal of the California Academy of Sciences
--1985: receives the Palaeobotanical Society International Medal
--1990: receives the Paleontological Society Medal
--1993: receives the Merit Award of the Botanical Society of America
--dies at Davis, California, on 2 June 1998.

For Additional Information, See:

--Who Was Who in America, Vol. 13 (2000).
--Botanical Electronic News, No. 202 (12 September 1998). [online]
--University of California: In Memoriam, 1998. [website]

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

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