Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Hennig, (Emil Hans) Willi (Germany 1913-1976)
|from Wikipedia.org |Beyond
his influential studies on the taxonomy of flies, Hennig will be remembered
more generally as the foremost biological systematist of the twentieth
century for his development of the methodology known as phylogenetic
systematics (now frequently referred to as "cladism" or "cladistics"
by his followers). In this system the primacy of the Darwinian notion
of "descent with modification" is strictly adhered to (though not
necessarily its specific means of enaction), with the result that
classification is linked not so much to the comparative measure of
character states between species and groups, but directly to their
evolutionary record of divergence over time--that is, to their natural
phylogeny. This system in turn made it possible for the accelerated
development of vicariance biogeography methods, which seek to trace
out the record in space of species divergences over time, and relate
these to climate changes or other concurrently operating geographical/environmental
causal influences. Hennig's method is still controversial, less on
its own terms than in the effects its rather strict logic has had
on idealistic notions of biological classification per se,
and the degree to which it has led its practitioners to treat environmental
contexts in largely deterministic terms.
--born in Dürrhennersdorf, near Zittau, Germany,
on 20 April 1913.
--1932: enters University of Leipzig to study
--1936: completes doctoral dissertation on the
genitalia of dipterans (flies)
--1937: joins staff of the Deutsches Entomologisches
--1939-1945: serves in World War II
--1945: held prisoner of war
--1950: publishes his Grundzüge einer
Theorie der Phylogenetischen Systematik
--1961: resigns from the DEI
--1963: made director of the Abteilung für
Phylogenetische Forschung at the Ludwigsburg branch of the Staatliches
Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart
--1966: publishes his Phylogenetic Systematics
--1966: publishes his The Diptera Fauna
of New Zealand as a Problem in Systematics and Zoogeography
--1969: publishes his Die Stammesgeschichte
--1974: receives Gold Medal of the Linnean
--1975: receives Gold Medal of the American
Museum of Natural History, New York
--dies at Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart, Germany,
on 5 November 1976.
--1980: the Willi Hennig Society founded
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol.
--Entomologica Germanica, Vol. 4 (1978):
Vol. 28(4) (1979): 415-519.
Review of Ecology and Systematics,
Vol. 15 (1984): 1-24.
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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