Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Jordan, David Starr (United States 1851-1931)
ichthyology, college administration

During his lifetime Jordan was the dean of American ichthyologists, both through his own studies and the influence of his many students. He was also an educator of high standing--functioning among other roles as President both of Indiana University and of Stanford University--and a notable peace advocate and spokesperson. As an ichthyologist he involved himself in many taxonomic projects covering faunas ranging across the North American continent, and provided a philosophical context by supporting the Darwinian understanding of evolution. Over 1,000 genera and 2,500 species of fishes were named as a direct result of his activities. Jordan was a founding member of the Sierra Club. "Jordan's Law" in biogeography states that populations of most-closely-related species are separated from one another by physical barriers.

Life Chronology

--born in Gainesville, New York, on 19 January 1851.
--1869: enters Cornell University
--1872: M.S., Cornell University (skips bachelor's level)
--1872-1873: teaches natural science at Lombard College
--1873-1874: principal, Appleton Collegiate Institute
--1874-1875: science teacher, Indianapolis High School
--1875: M.D., Indiana Medical College
--1875-1879: professor of natural history, Butler University
--1876: publishes the first of many editions of his Manual of the Vertebrates of the Northern United States
--1877-1881, 1894-1909: cooperating assistant with the U. S. Fish Commission
--1877: honorary Ph.D., Butler University
--1879: made professor of natural history at Indiana University
--1882: publishes his Synopsis of the Fishes of North America, with C. K. Gilbert
--1885-1891: president of Indiana University
--1885-1886: president, Indiana Academy of Science
--1886: honorary LL.D., Cornell University
--1891-1913: president of Stanford University
--1896: investigates fur seals in the Bering Sea area
--1896-1900: publishes his The Fishes of North and Middle America in four volumes, with B. W. Evermann
--1896-1904, 1908-1912: president, California Academy of Sciences
--1904-1931: member, International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature
--1907: publishes his Evolution and Animal Life, with Vernon L. Kellogg
--1909-1910: president, American Association for the Advancement of Science
--1910-1914: chief director of the World Peace Foundation
--dies at Stanford, California, on 19 September 1931.

For Additional Information, See:

--American National Biography, Vol. 12 (1999).
--National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 22 (1932).
--Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. 5 (1958).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 7 (1973).
--Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and Environmentalists (1997).
--Systematic Zoology, Vol. 13(4) (1964): 195-200.
--Science, Vol. 74(1918) (1931): 327-329.
--The Days of a Man (1922). [autobiography]
--David Starr Jordan: Prophet of Freedom (1953).

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

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