Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Forster, (Johann) Georg Adam (Germany 1754-1794)
geography, natural history

Georg Forster and his father Johann Reinhold are most celebrated for their roles as naturalists in the second Captain James Cook voyage circumnavigating the world. Upon returning the Forsters published both scientific and popular accounts of their experience, culminating in Georg's A Voyage Round the World in 1777, a work which made a marked impression on the young Alexander von Humboldt. Forster's life was relatively short, but his impact considerable: brilliant, well- and broadly-trained (mostly by his father) and in frequent contact with many of the leading minds of the Europe of his time, his writings did much to open the eyes of his countrymen to the potential benefits of study of natural history, and the lure of geographical places.

Life Chronology

--born in Nassenhuben, near Danzig, Polish Prussia, on 27 November 1754.
--1765-1766: travels to the Volga steppes with his father
--1766: emigrates to England with his father
--1767: publishes (at the age of twelve) a translation of a history of Russia by Lomonosov
--1772-1775: serves as translator, artist, and scientific assistant on James Cook's second global voyage
--1777: publishes A Voyage Round the World; elected to the Royal Society
--1778: leaves England for Germany
--1779-1784: professor of natural history at the Collegium Carolinium in Kassel
--1780: admitted to the German Academy of Naturalists Leopoldina
--1784-1787: professor of natural history, University of Vilna
--1786: publishes his M.D. dissertation (De plantis exculentis insularum Oceani Australis commentatio botanica) and Florulae insularum Australium prodromus
--1787: publishes his Fasciculus plantarum Magellanicarum / Plantae Atlanticae
--1788-1792: university librarian at the University of Mainz
--1790: travels through the Netherlands, England and France with Alexander von Humboldt
--1791-1794: publishes his Ansichten vom Niederrhein, including an account of his trip with Humboldt
--1793: elected deputy for Mainz to French Republic national convention in Paris
--dies at Paris, France, on 10 January 1794.

For Additional Information, See:

--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 20 (2004).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 5 (1972)
--Georg Forster (1972).
--Journal of Modern History, Vol. 41(1) (1969): 1-16.
--Modern Language Review, Vol. 51(1) (1956): 42-48.

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

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