Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Oosting, Henry John (United States 1903-1968)
plant ecology

Photo courtesy of the Torrey Botanical Society.
Oosting's early studies, reflecting his Minnesota location and the orientation of his Ph.D. advisor William S. Cooper, were limnology-related. On taking a position at Duke, however, his attention soon shifted to old field succession studies; later, his interests continued to expand in several directions: the study of spruce-fir associations, Piedmont plant communities, vegetation forming over bare rock substrates, virgin forests, and maritime vegetation. Throughout, he favored an autecological approach, giving especial attention to influences generated by soils. Oosting's most influential publication was probably his highly successful 1948 textbook The Study of Plant Communities, which went to a second edition in 1956.

Life Chronology

--born in Holland, Michigan, on 12 March 1903.
--1925: A.B., Hope College
--1927: M.A., Michigan State University
--1927-1932: instructor in botany, University of Minnesota
--1931: Ph.D., University of Minnesota
--1932: joins the botany department faculty at Duke University
--1937: takes part in the Louise A. Boyd expedition to Greenland
--1940: publishes "Buried Viable Seeds in a Successional Series of Old Field and Forest Soils" in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, with M. E. Humphreys
--1942: publishes "An Ecological Analysis of the Plant Communities of Piedmont, North Carolina" in the American Midland Naturalist
--1942: publishes "Factors Effecting Vegetational Zonation on Coastal Dunes" in Ecology, with W. D. Billings
--1948: publishes the first edition of his The Study of Plant Communities
--1949: advanced to professor of botany, Duke University
--1950-1962: botany editor, Ecological Monographs, and business manager, Ecological Society of America
--1953-1963: chair of the botany department, Duke University
--1955: president, Ecological Society of America
--dies on 31 October 1968.

For Additional Information, See:

--Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, Vol. 96(3) (1969): 370-372.
--Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Vol. 51(4) (1970): 16-17.

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

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