Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Epling, Carl Clawson (United States 1894-1968)
botany, evolutionary biology

Carl Epling is most remembered as a prominent botanist and one of the important figures in the development of the Neo-Darwinian synthesis. After serving in the military, he completed his Ph.D. in 1924, whereupon he became connected with UCLA, the institution he would serve for the rest of his life. His early researches focused on systematics, especially of American members of the family Labiatae, but an increasing interest in evolutionary studies led him to genetics and biogeography and an experimental approach, notably on the familiar laboratory organism Drosophila pseudoobscura. Related publications on gene arrangements and a subsequent public discussion among some of the top names in biology brought his name to prominence. Epling was enthusiastically devoted to the research process, and much of his time was also spent in helping to make UCLA an environment that would attract and support researchers of international reputation; typical of his efforts in this direction was his founding of the herbarium there.

Life Chronology

--born in Waverly, Illinois, on 15 April 1894.
--1917-1919: serves in the military
--1921: A.B., University of California, Berkeley
--1921-1922: botany instructor, Oregon State College
--1922-1924: agent for the USDA
--1923: M.A., Washington University (St. Louis)
--1924: Ph.D., Henry Shaw School of Botany, Washington University
--1924-1927: botany instructor, University of California at Los Angeles
--1927-1928: National Research Council fellowship for study in Europe
--1927-1935: assistant professor of botany, UCLA
--1936-1944: associate professor of botany, UCLA
--1941: made a Faculty Research lecturer, UCLA
--1944: publishes “Contributions to the Genetics, Taxonomy, and Ecology of Drosophila pseudoobscura and Its Relatives” in Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 554, with Theodosius Dobzhansky
--1944-1961: systematist at the Agricultural Experiment Station
--1945-1961: professor of botany, UCLA
--1949-1950: Chair of the Academic Senate, UCLA
--1961: made emeritus professor of botany; begins field studies in Ecuador
--1963: honorary LL.D., UCLA
--dies at Santa Monica, California, on 17 November 1968.

For Additional Information, See:

--Taxonomic Literature, Suppl. VI (2000).
--Taxon, Vol. 19(1) (1970): 88-92.
--University of California: In Memoriam, December 1970. [website]

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

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