Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Godwin, Sir Harry (England 1901-1985)
ecology, palynology, paleoecology

Photo courtesy of the Cambridge Quaternary.
Sir Harry Godwin's work brought him renown within the realm of Pleistocene studies. He became the strongest advocate in Britain for attending to related subjects, being especially instrumental in alerting workers to the potential of palynological and radiometric dating methods. Meanwhile, he became the top authority on the British Fenland, including setting up an institute devoted to its study and protection. Godwin was eventually knighted--doubtlessly in recognition not only of his scientific work, but of his extensive professional service (both as editor of New Phytologist and the Journal of Ecology for a total of nearly fifty years, and numerous association affinities).

Life Chronology

--born in Holmes, Rotherham, Yorkshire, on 9 May 1901.
--1919: enters Clare College, Cambridge
--1922: ScD., Clare College
--1922: studies plant physiology with F. F. Blackman
--1925: Ph.D., Clare College; made a research fellow of Clare College
--1927-1934: university demonstrator, Clare College
--1930: publishes his Plant Biology
--1931-1961: editor of The New Phytologist
--1932: made honorary secretary of the British Ecological Society; establishes the Fenland Research Committee
--1934-1948: university lecturer, Clare College
--1942-1943: president, British Ecological Society
--1945: made a fellow of the Royal Society of London (council member 1957-1959)
--1948-1956: editor of the Journal of Ecology
--1948-1960: reader, Clare College
--1948-1966: first director of the sub-department of Quaternary Research at the Cambridge Botany School
--1951: awarded the Prestwich medal of the Geological Society of London
--1956: publishes his The History of the British Flora
--1960: Croonian lecturer, Royal Society of London; honorary doctorate, Trinity College, Dublin
--1960-1968: professor and head of botany, Cambridge University
--1964: president, tenth International Botanical Congress, Edinburgh
--1966: receives the Linnean Society's gold medal
--1968: retires; made professor emeritus
--1970: knighted
--1978: publishes his Fenland: Its Ancient Past and Uncertain Future
--1980: awarded Gunnar Erdtman medal for Palynology
--1981: publishes his The Archives of the Peat Bogs; made a life member of the Quaternary Research Association
--1982: awarded the Albrecht Penck Medal by the Deutsche Quartärvereinigung
--dies at Cambridge, England, on 12 August 1985.

For Additional Information, See:

--New Phytologist, Vol. 103(1) (1986): 1-3.
--Journal of Ecology, Vol. 74(2) (1986): 591-597.
--Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, Vol. 34 (1988): 261-292.
--Oxford National Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 22 (2004).
--The Annual Obituary 1985 (1988): 411-413.
--Cambridge and Clare (1985).

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

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