Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Engler, (Heinrich Gustav) Adolf (Germany 1844-1930)
botany, biogeography, systematics

Engler was the leading plant systematist and phytogeographer of his era--perhaps of any era. He wrote and/or edited several important works on these subjects, also founding and serving as the editor of the journal Botanische Jahrbücher. His plant classification system, based largely on morphological characteristics and embracing Darwinian principles (but often falling short of these on an evidential basis), replaced the older Linnean system and became the world standard for almost one hundred years. He is also remembered for his important contributions to plant geography, in which he argued for the central importance of geological history and evolution (in turn relating phylogeny to distribution), for his directorship of the Botanischer Garten in Berlin for over twenty years, and for his many publications on African plants (beginning with his dissertation, on the genus Saxifraga).

Life Chronology

--born in Sagan, Germany, on 25 March 1844.
--1866: obtains his Ph.D. from the University of Breslau, Wroclaw
--1871-1878: lecturer and herbarium curator at Munich
--1876: elected member of German Academy of Naturalists Leopoldina
--1878-1884: chair of systematic botany, University of Kiel
--1880: founder, Botanische Jahrbücher
--1880-1930: editor, Botanische Jahrbücher
--1884-1889: professor of systematic botany at the University of Breslau; also director of the botanical gardens
--1887-1915: publishes 248 installments of Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien
--1889-1921: professor of botany and director of the botanical garden at Berlin
--1896-1923: publishes his Die Vegetation der Erde, with Oscar Drude
--1910: publishes his Die Pflanzenwelt Afrikas
--1921: retires from the University of Berlin
--1925: made an honorary member of the German Academy of Naturalists Leopoldina
--dies at Berlin, Germany, on 10 October 1930.

For Additional Information, See:

--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 15 (1978).
--Journal of Botany, British and Foreign, Vol. 68 (1930): 375-377.
--Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 71(10) (1937): 497-500.
--Nature, Vol. 126(3186) (1930): 814-815.
--Taxonomic Literature, Supplement VI (2000).

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

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