Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Martonne, Emmanuel-Louis-Eugène de (France 1873-1955)
physical geography

Martonne was one of the leading physical geographers of the twentieth century. He was essentially an old-style regional geographer who became enamored with the landscape evolution approach of American geographer William M. Davis, extending it in both scientific and educational directions. Topically, he concentrated on geomorphology, especially the processes of mountain glaciation, peneplain development, and hydrography. As a regional geographer, he contributed numerous studies: on districts in France, Rumania, the Alps, Central Europe, etc. But his most important legacy overall was his nearly lifelong project, the Traité de Géographie Physique. This first appeared in two volumes in 1909, and had expanded to three volumes (including a separate one for biogeography) by the fourth edition of 1925-1927, and eventually reached a tenth edition by the time of Martonne's death.

Life Chronology

--born in Chabris, France, on 1 April 1873.
--1892: enters the École Normale Supérieure in Paris
--1895: graduates with degree in history and geography; thereafter works with Richthofen in Berlin and Penck in Vienna
--1899: joins geography department at the University of Rennes
--1904: accompanies William M. Davis on expedition to the American West and Mexico
--1905: joins the Faculty of Arts at the University of Lyons
--1909: made department head of geography in the Faculty of Letters at the Sorbonne
--1909: publishes the first edition of his Traité de Géographie Physique
--1916: visiting professor, Columbia University
--1920s: studies regions of high aridity with internal drainage
--1921: publishes study on the geographical regions of France
--1926: publishes regional study of the Alps
--1927-1944: serves as director of the Institut de Géographie, Paris
--1931-1938: serves as secretary general of the International Geographical Union
--1939: receives the American Geographical Society's Cullum Medal
--1942: elected a member of the Académie des Sciences
--1942: publishes his Géographie Physique de la France
--1944: retires from the Sorbonne
--1949: made president of life of the International Geographical Union
--1950: receives the Victoria Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, London
--dies at Sceaux, France, on 24 July 1955.

For Additional Information, See:

--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 9 (1974).
--Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, Vol. 6(6) (1956): 623-642. [in French]
--Geographical Review, Vol. 46(2) (1956): 277-279.
--Geographical Journal, Vol. 121(4) (1955): 547-549.

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

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