Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Dice, Lee Raymond (United States 1887-1977)
mammalogy, ecology

Dice spent almost all of his professional life associated with the University of Michigan, where he developed an international reputation as a geneticist (e.g., his discovery of polygenic inheritance in Peromyscus), mammalogist, ecologist, and administrator. Fieldwork carried out in the Southwest and Mexico in the 20s and 30s eventually convinced him that the life zones concept developed by C. Hart Merriam and others was an inadequate means for modeling distribution patterns, so he came up with a new approach, the biotic province, which characterized areas of continuous ecological similarity in climate, soils, and topography. This work is summarized in his best known work, The Biotic Provinces of North America (1943). He is also well known for his derivation of the Dice index (a similarity coefficient used to measure degree of association between biotic samples). Dice published more than two hundred papers over his career.

Life Chronology

--born in Savannah, Georgia, on 15 July, 1887.
--1911: A.B., Stanford University
--1914: M.S., University of California, Berkeley
--1915: Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
--1916-1917: instructor in zoology, Kansas State Agricultural College
--1917-1918: assistant professor of zoology, University of Montana
--1918-1919: field assistant, U.S. Biological Survey and Michigan Biological and Geological Survey
--1919-1938: curator of mammals, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan
--1919-1957: teaches zoology at University of Michigan
--1920-1940: various summer vacations spent collecting expeditions
--1932-1950: publishes papers on the genetics of and variation in Peromyscus populations
--1934: becomes director of the University of Michigan Laboratory of Mammalian Genetics
--1940: receives university grant to conduct research on human genetics
--1941: establishes the Heredity Clinic at the University of Michigan
--1942: made professor of zoology, University of Michigan
--1943: publishes his The Biotic Provinces of North America
--1945: publishes "Measures of the Amount of Ecologic Association Between Species" in Ecology
--1947-1951: vice-president, American Society of Mammalogists
--1947-1948, 1953-1954: vice-president, Society for the Study of Evolution
--1948: president, the Ecologists Union (later the Nature Conservancy)
--1950-1951: president, American Society of Human Genetics
--1950-1957: directs the Institute of Human Biology
--1952: publishes his Natural Communities
--1952-1953: president, Ecological Society of America
--1956: elected an honorary member of the American Society of Mammalogists
--1957: University of Michigan celebrates his career by creating the Lee R. Dice Distinguished Professorship
--dies at Ann Arbor, Michigan, on 31 January 1977.

For Additional Information, See:

--Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and Environmentalists (1997).
--Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 59(3) (1978): 635-644.

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

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