Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Ekman, Sven (Sweden 1876-1964)
oceanography, limnology, field biology, biogeography

Ekman spent a good part of his long life in the field examining both terrestrial/fresh water and marine environments. His studies extended to a wide diversity of subjects in the realms of invertebrate and vertebrate zoology, marine biology, northern and alpine environments ecology, limnology, biogeography, evolutionary biology, and science popularization. Although even his earliest work attracted considerable attention, he was employed for many years as a secondary school teacher in his native Sweden, not accepting a full-time university appointment until he was in his fifties. Some years after this his most famous book, Tiergeographie des Meeres, was published and his international reputation was assured, but it became even better known when it was expanded and released in English in 1953 as Zoogeography of the Sea. It is arguably one of the two or three most important treatments of this subject ever produced. Ekman was much respected for his enthusiasm and devotion to his science; he is also remembered for his invention of what came to be known as the Ekman bottom-sampler, and as a biogeographer of considerable note for his studies on glacial relict populations and Swedish faunistics.

Life Chronology

--born on 31 May 1876.
--1904: publishes his doctoral thesis in Zoologische Jahrbücher
--1909: moves to Jönköping where he is made a senior master at the grammar school
--1911: publishes a paper describing the Ekman bottom-sampler
--1915: publishes a monographic study of the ecology of Lake Vättern
--1916: made a senior master at the grammar school in Uppsala; also engaged as a lecturer at the University
--1917: publishes an influential paper on holothurians
--1922: publishes his The Distributional History of the Animal Kingdom on the Scandinavian Peninsula [in Swedish]
--1927: made a professor at the University; later made director of the marine biological station on the west coast of Sweden
--1930: publishes his semi-popular The Living Lake [in Swedish]
--1935: publishes his Tiergeographie des Meeres
--1941: retires from the University, but continues his research, especially on limnological subjects in Lappland
--1953: publishes his Zoogeography of the Sea, a revised edition of the 1935 publication in English
--dies on 2 February 1964.

For Additional Information, See:

--Hydrobiologia, Vol. 27(1/2) (1966): 274-279.
--Russian Journal of Marine Biology, Vol. 32(2) (March 2006): 137-139.
--Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 28(3) (1953): 284-285.

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

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