Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Mason, Herbert Louis (United States 1896-1994)
botany, phytogeography

Photo courtesy of the Regional Parks Association.
Mason's research is well summarized in an online entry from University of California: In Memoriam, 1994: "Although a self-professed taxonomist, Mason was always more interested in the causes underlying plant evolution and distribution, both past and present, than he was in details of classification. His efforts shifted more and more to what he termed 'plant geography' to distinguish it from the then mainstream plant ecology, which was for many years dominated by the ideas and overblown terminology of F. E. Clements. Mason stressed the direct relationship of environmental factors to the varied tolerance capacities of the plants comprising a given community, and rejected the almost organismal interpretation of 'associations,' 'climaxes,' and other phytosociological abstractions." Mason was an especially respected teacher, and served as president of several Western U. S. and national scientific societies.

Life Chronology

--born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, on 3 January 1896.
--1921: A.B., Stanford University
--1923: M.A., Berkeley
--1923-1925: instructor at Mills College
--1925: botany expedition to the Revillagigedos Islands, Mexico
--1925-1931: associate in botany at the University of California, Berkeley
--1932: Ph.D., Berkeley
--1932: takes part in expedition to the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean
--1933: made instructor and assistant curator in the herbarium, Berkeley
--1934: advanced to assistant professor and associate curator at Berkeley
--1938: advanced to associate professor and curator at Berkeley
--1941: made professor of botany and director of the herbarium at Berkeley
--1949: made founding director of the Regional Parks Association
--1949-1950: member of natural history expedition to the Magdalena Basin, Colombia
--1957: publishes his A Flora of the Marshes of California
--1959-1960: Fulbright fellowship, Auckland University, New Zealand
--1963: retires from Berkeley; attains professor emeritus status
--dies in 1994.

For Additional Information, See:

--University of California: In Memoriam, 1994. [website]
--History of the Regional Parks Association. [website]
--Madrono, Vol. 41(3): 235-238.

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

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