Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Grisebach, August Heinrich Rudolf (Germany 1814-1879)
botany, phytogeography

Writings based on Grisebach's travels through the Balkans and western Turkey in 1839-1840 established his reputation as a botanist and geographer, supplementing his earlier experiences elsewhere in Europe. Grisebach's work featured both taxonomic studies and floristic analyses, but it is in the latter area that he made his greatest mark. Influenced by von Humboldt's ideas on the relation of climate to floral assemblages, he coined the term "Geobotanik" (geobotany) to help describe the kinds of causal influences he imagined to be operating (which, it has been observed, tended to neglect historical forces to an unrealistic degree). His most important work was undoubtedly Die Vegetation der Erde nach Ihrer Klimatischen Anordnung, a milestone publication in the history of phytogeography.

Life Chronology

--born in Hannover, Germany, on 17 April 1814.
--1832-1836: studies medicine and botany at Göttingen and Berlin
--1833: travels in the western Alps
--1836: receives his doctorate
--1837: hired as privatdozent, University of Göttingen
--1838: publishes his Genera et Species Gentianearum
--1839-1840: travels through, and studies the floras of, the Balkan Peninsula and northwestern Asia Minor
--1841: made associate professor of botany at the University of Göttingen
--1840-1853: publishes reports in his Bericht über die Leistungen in der Pflanzengeographie
--1842: visits Norway
--1844: elected to the German Academy of Naturalists Leopoldina
--1847: made full professor of botany at the University of Göttingen
--1850: botanical visit to the Pyrenees
--1852: botanical visit to the Carpathians
--1859-1864: publishes his Flora of the British West Indian Islands
--1872: publishes his Die Vegetation der Erde nach Ihrer Klimatischen Anordnung in two volumes
--1875: made director of the botanical gardens, Göttingen
--1878: named a privy government official (Geheimer Regierungsrat)
--dies at Göttingen, Germany, on 9 May 1879.

For Additional Information, See:

--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 5 (1972).
--Taxonomic Literature, Vol. 1 (1976).
--Journal of the Arnold Arboretum, Vol. 46(3) (1965): 243-285.

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

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