Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Bower, Frederick Orpen (England 1855-1948)


Frederick Bower decided early on that botany would become the central focus of his life. By the age of thirty he held an endowed chair at the University of Edinburgh, and remained there until his retirement. Bower was one of the foremost plant morphologists of his generation; from this starting point he pursued productive research programs in paleobotany, systematics, plant anatomy, and evolutionary biology. A man who did not shy away from theorizing, one of his most productive "working hypotheses" was his application of the alternation of generations model to explaining the way the land was colonized by early plants. This subject was explored most completely in his book The Origin of a Land Flora in 1908. Bower was highly respected by his many students and colleagues alike, and was the recipient of many honorary doctorates and other awards.

Life Chronology

--born in Ripon, England, on 4 November 1855.
--1877: graduates from Trinity College, Cambridge
--1877: studies under Julius Sachs in Würzberg
--1880: becomes assistant to Daniel Oliver at University College, London
--1885-1925: holds Regius chair of botany, University of Glasgow
--1886: elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
--1891: elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London
--1908: publishes his The Origin of a Land Flora
--1910: receives the Royal Medal of the Royal Society of London
--1919-1924: president, Royal Society of Edinburgh
--1919: publishes his Botany of the Living Plant
--1923-1928: publishes his The Ferns, in three volumes
--1925: retires from the University of Glasgow
--1930: publishes his Size and Form in Plants
--1938: publishes his Sixty Years of Botany in Britain
--1938: receives the Darwin medal from the Royal Society of London
--dies at Ripon, England, on 11 April 1948.

For Additional Information, See:

--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 6 (2004).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 2 (1970).
--Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, Vol. 6 (1949): 347-374.
--The Linnean, Vol. 9(2) (1993): 29-36.

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

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