Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Martius, Karl Friedrich Philipp von
fortunate enough as a young man to be sent by the king of Bavaria
on a major expedition to Brazil to collect plant specimens (he also
served as the expedition's physician). While there he additionally
gave attention to the region's physical geography and ethnology.
When he returned after three years with thousands of specimens he
was rewarded with honors and positions, and settled down to a life
of science and science administration and publishing. Martius put
almost all of his attention on Brazil-related subjects; he published
a well-received semi-popular account of his explorations and ethnological
studies as well as many technical treatments of its vegetation (culminating
in his most important work, the many-volumed Flora Brasiliensis,
completed after he died). During his time Martius was recognized
as the foremost specialist on palms; he is also credited as having
been the first to describe the natural spiral growth pattern of
--born in Erlangen, Germany, on 17 April 1794.
--1814: M.D., University of Erlangen
--1814: made an assistant to the conservator of the Botanic Garden, Munich
--1816: admitted to the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina
--1817-1820: natural history expedition to Brazil with zoologist Johann
Baptist von Spix
--1820: returns to Munich; made a member of the Royal Bavarian Academy
and second conservator of the Botanic Garden
--1823-1831: publishes his Reise in Brasilien in three volumes,
--1823-1850: publishes his Historia
naturalis palmarum in three volumes
--1824-1831: publishes his Nova
genera et species plantarum Brasiliensium
--1826: named professor of botany at the University of Munich
--1828-1834: publishes his Icones plantarum cryptogamicarum...
--1829: publishes the first in the series Flora
--1832: made principal conservator of the Botanic Garden, Munich
--1838: made a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London
--1840: made secretary of the mathematical and physical section of the
Royal Bavarian Academy
--1842: publishes an analysis of the potato plague
--dies at Munich, Germany, on 13 December 1868.
of the Royal Society of London,
Vol. 18 (1869-1870): vi-xi.
--Kew Bulletin, Vol. 37(1) (1982): 91-116.
--Taxon, Vol. 32(1) (1983): 88-91.
--Taxonomic Literature, Vol. 3 (1981).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 9 (1974).
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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