Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Curtis, John Thomas (United States 1913-1961)
botany, plant ecology

Photo courtesy of the Waller Lab, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
J. T. Curtis was a productive writer on a variety of botanical subjects ranging from statistical ecology and plant physiology to conservation and the study of orchids. As an ecologist he was known for his support of Henry Gleason’s individualistic hypothesis and in turn for promoting the continuum concept and developing related ordination and sampling techniques. Curtis kept thirty-nine Ph.D. students busy during his relatively short life; one of the results of his and their efforts was the impressive The Vegetation of Wisconsin: An Ordination of Plant Communities, published in 1959.

Life Chronology

--born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on 20 September 1913.
--1934: A.B., Carroll College
--1937: Ph.D. in botany, University of Wisconsin
--1937: botany instructor, University of Wisconsin
--1940: made assistant professor of botany, University of Wisconsin
--1942: Guggenheim Fellow
--1942-1945: research director of the Société Haïtiano-Américaine de Développement Agricole
--1945: made associate professor of botany, University of Wisconsin
--1949: publishes "A Study of Relic Wisconsin Prairies by the Species-presence Method" in Ecology, with H. C. Greene
--1950: publishes "The Interrelations of Certain Analytic and Synthetic Phytosociological Characters" in Ecology, with Robert P. McIntosh
--1951: publishes "An Upland Forest Continuum in the Prairie-forest Border Region of Wisconsin" in Ecology, with Robert P. McIntosh
--1951: made professor of botany, University of Wisconsin
--1952-1955: chairman, Wisconsin State Board for Preservation of Scientific Areas
--1954-1961: research associate, Milwaukee Public Museum
--1956: Guggenheim Fellow
--1959: publishes his The Vegetation of Wisconsin
--dies 7 July 1961; buried at Madison, Wisconsin.

For Additional Information, See:

--Taxonomic Literature Suppl. IV (1997).
--John T. Curtis: Fifty Years of Wisconsin Plant Ecology (1993).
--Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Vol. 42(4) (1961): 167-170.

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Copyright 2007 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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