Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Candolle, Augustin-Pyramus de (Switzerland-France
As a teenager Candolle moved to Paris to pursue studies
in medicine and natural history. His talent was immediately apparent,
and he soon fell in with the greatest names of the day, Lamarck and Cuvier.
They helped inspire him onto the road of botanical research, and in this
field he quickly achieved the first rank among all the workers of his
time. Candolle eventually worked in almost all areas of botany, but he
was an especially influential systematist (he even coined the term "taxonomy"
himself) who recognized the importance of linking form (anatomy and morphology)
to function. He also contributed many works on agronomy, biometry, phytochemistry,
pharmacology, and physiology, along the way working on both living and
fossil forms. His most famous work, the Prodromus, serially monographed
in laborious detail a large number of plant families and was continued
by his son Alphonse. Last but not least, Candolle was one of the first
important plant geographers. He is especially known for his efforts to
associate plant distribution characteristics with soil conditions; he
additionally was one of the first to attempt to quantify diversity, to
fruitfully distinguish the concepts of habitat and station from one another,
and to consider questions of scale in phytogeographic inquiry. Candolle
was an advocate of "natural" means of classification, but believed that
species were immutable. He was also an important botanical gardens administrator
and an influential teacher, and managed to find the time to serve in a
variety of public service positions connected with city government and
several civic and professional organizations.
--born in the Republic of Geneva (now Switzerland),
on 4 February 1778.
--1794-1796: attends the Collège de Calvin, Geneva, and makes botanical
collections in the surrounding area
--1796: moves to Paris to study medicine and natural history
--1798: publishes his first botanical paper, on Reticularia rosea
--1799-1803: publishes his Plantarum historia succulentarum,
in 28 sections
--1800: made an honorary professor by the Academy of Geneva
--1804: awarded the M.D. by the medical faculty, University of Paris
--1806-1812: involved in a government survey of French botanical and agricultural
--1808-1810: professor of botany at the École de Médécine
at the University of Montpellier
--1810-1816: chair of botany in the faculty of sciences, University of
--1813: publishes his Théorie
Élémentaire de la Botanique, in which the word
"taxonomy" is coined
--1816: moves back to Geneva
--1817: publishes his "Mémoire
sur la Géographie des Plantes de France, Considerée dans
Ses Rapports avec la Hauteur Absolue" in the Mémoires de
Physique et de Chimie de la Société d'Arcueil
--1817-1821: publishes his Regni
vegetabilis systema naturale, in two volumes
--1817-1834: director of the botanical garden, Geneva
--1817-1835: professor of natural history at the Academy of Geneva
--1820: publishes his (Essai
Élémentaire de) Géographie Botanique
--1822: made a foreign member of the Royal Society of London
--1824-1839: issues the first seven volumes of his Prodromus systematis
naturalis regni vegetabilis
--1828: elected a foreign associate of the French Academy of Sciences
--1831-1832: serves as rector at the Academy
--1835: retires from the Academy of Geneva
--dies at Geneva, on 9 September 1841.
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 3 (1971).
--Scientific Monthly, Vol. 19 (1924): 53-62.
--Taxonomic Literature, Supplement III (1995).
of Botany (1530-1860) (1890): 126-139.
Magazine and Journal of Science, Vol. 20 (1842): 253-256.
Journal of Science, Vol. 42 (1842): 217-226.
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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