Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Florin, (Carl) Rudolf (Sweden 1894-1965)
paleobotany, plant morphology

Photo courtesy of Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift, vol. 60, no. 3.
One of the twentieth century's most important paleobotanists, Rudolf Florin spent his entire professional career affiliated with Stockholm University. There he pursued research on the epidermal structures of living and fossil plants, particularly conifers and taxads. His unsurpassed knowledge of morphology in these (and some other) groups in turn laid the groundwork for systematics investigations involving both phylogenetic and biogeographic reconstructions. His studies ranged to considerations of floras all over the world, and temporally from the mid-Paleozoic on. One of his best known publications was his "The Distribution of Conifer and Taxad Genera in Time and Space," in which he posed various effects of the developed, and then disappearing, Tethys Sea. Much of Florin's evolutionary work was based on his adoption of Walter Zimmerman's telome theory. He was also a celebrated and honored conservationist, if mainly within his homeland only.

Life Chronology

--born in Solna, near Stockholm, on 5 April 1894.
--1914-1918: educated at Stockholm University; graduated "filosofie licentiat" in 1920
--1918: made assistant keeper to the paleobotany department, Swedish Museum of Natural History
--1931: completes Ph.D. on epidermal structures of living conifers at Stockholm University
--1931: made docent at Stockholm University; publishes his Untersuchungen zur Stammesgeschichte der Coniferales und Cordaitales
--1931-1947: secretary of the Committee for the Conservation of Nature of the Swedish Academy of Sciences
--1937: visits the United States
--1938-1945: publishes his Die Koniferen des Oberkarbons und des Unteren Perms, in eight parts
--1940: publishes his The Tertiary Fossil Conifers of South Chile and Their Phytogeographical Significance
--1942: made professor of botany, Stockholm University
--1944-1964: professor and director, Bergius Botanical Garden, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; editor of its journal, Acta Horti Bergiani
--1947-1962: associate professor of systematic botany, Stockholm University
--1949: gives the Prather Lectures at Harvard University
--1951: publishes "Evolution in Cordaites and Conifers" in Acta Horti Bergiani
--1951-1960: vice president, Botanical Society of Stockholm
--1953-1957: chairman, Committee for the Conservation of Nature of the Swedish Academy of Sciences
--1954: first president, International Organization of Palaeobotany
--1954-1959: president, paleobotanical section of the International Union of Biological Sciences
--1957: awarded gold medal for the conservation of nature of the Swedish Academy of Sciences
--1959-1964: council member, International Association for Plant Taxonomy
--1958: recipient of the Darwin-Wallace Commemorative Medal of the Linnean Society of London
--1960: Hitchcock Foundation lecturer, University of California; made president of the Swedish Botanical Society
--1963: publishes "The Distribution of Conifer and Taxad Genera in Time and Space" in Acta Horti Bergiani
--1963: awarded the Linnaeus gold medal of the Royal Physiographic Society of Lund
--1964: awarded the gold medal of the Swedish Academy of Sciences
--dies at Falköping, Sweden, on 24 September 1965.

For Additional Information, See:

--Taxon, Vol. 15(3) (March 1966): 85-93.
--Phytomorphology, Vol. 18 (1968): 174-178.
--Ameghiniana, Vol. 4(8) (1966): 303-304.
--Plant Science Bull., Vol. 11(3) (December 1965): 11-12.
--Historical Perspective of Early Twentieth Century Carboniferous Paleobotany in North America (Geological Society of America Memoir 185, 1995): 119-126.

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

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