Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Chapman, R(oyal N(orton) (United States 1889-1939)
animal ecology, entomology

"It is suggested that environmental factors may be measured in terms of their effect in reducing the potential rate of increase. Thus all factors may be measured on the same scale and their values compared directly." So ends Chapman's celebrated 1928 paper "The Quantitative Analysis of Environmental Factors," which describes his controlled experiments on the insect species Tribolium confusum, the confused flour beetle. In this work Chapman not only demonstrated the way limiting factors influence the generational demographics of reproducing populations (the relation of biotic potential to environmental resistance), but showed that ecological interactions could be reduced to succinct mathematical relationships. This work, along with later studies by Gause, became the foundation for the competitive exclusion principle. Chapman was an economic entomologist who was an early leader in that field, beginning with his efforts to study ways to protect grain stores from insect pest species during World War I. In 1930 he unfortunately became sidetracked from his animal ecology studies when he moved to Hawaii to investigate diseases afflicting the Hawaiian pineapple industry. He was also highly successful in his work there, but it took nearly ten years and he died at the age of fifty shortly after returning to the University of Minnesota, where he had hoped to resume his earlier researches.

Life Chronology

--born in Morristown, Minnesota, on 17 September 1889.
--1914: A.B., University of Minnesota
--1915: M.A., University of Minnesota
--1917: Ph.D., Cornell University
--1917-1930: teaches zoology at the University of Minnesota
--1918-1923: assistant entomologist at the agricultural experiment station, University of Minnesota
--1924: delegate to the Pan-Pacific food conservation conference in Hawaii
--1925-1930: professor of zoology and entomology, chief of the entomology and economic zoology division, and experiment station entomologist, University of Minnesota
--1926-1927: Guggenheim fellow
--1928: publishes "The Quantitative Analysis of Environmental Factors" in Ecology
--1930-1939: director of the experimental station of the Pineapple Producers Cooperative Association at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu
--1931: publishes his Animal Ecology, With Special Reference to Insects
--1939: made dean of the graduate school and professor of ecology at the University of Minnesota
--dies at Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 2 December 1939.

For Additional Information, See:

--National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 29 (1941).
--Science, Vol. 91(2359) (1940): 255-256.
--Annals of the Entomological Society of America, Vol. 34(3) (1941): 521-524.

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

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