Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Pearsall, William Harold (England 1891-1964)
botany, ecology

Pearsall's interest in botany, ecology, and limnology began as a young child when he often accompanied his amateur naturalist father on searches for water plants in the Lake District. In his postgraduate studies he began to look more systematically at the forces underlying succession in and around those lakes. He was able to document successional change through mapping efforts, and proceed to generalizations regarding stage of lake evolution, including which species of fish and invertebrates different stages should have. Later, his studies dwelled on related subjects such as the electrical potential of soils and bog evolution, but he also became interested in the problems of world food production, and related questions in biological productivity and production ecology. Pearsall's single best known writing was his 1950 book Mountains and Moorlands, which summarized in readable style his many years of fascination with the development of the northern England landscape.

Life Chronology

--born in Stourbridge, Worcestershire, England, on 23 July 1891.
--1913: B.S., University of Manchester
--1915: M.S., University of Manchester
--1916-1919: serves in the Royal Garrison Artillery, France
--1919: hired as assistant lecturer at Leeds University; promoted to full lecturer the next year
--1920: D.Sc., University of Manchester
--1920: publishes "The Aquatic Vegetation of the English Lakes" in the Journal of Ecology
--1921: publishes "The Development of Vegetation in the English Lakes, Considered in Relation to the General Evolution of Glacial Lakes and Rocks" in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B
--1922: made reader in botany at Leeds University
--1929: helps found the Freshwater Biological Society
--1931-1937: honorary director of the British Freshwater Biological Association
--1932: publishes "Phytoplankton in the English Lakes II. The Composition of the Phytoplankton in Relation to Dissolved Substances" in the Journal of Ecology
--1936: president, British Ecological Society
--1937-1947: editor, Journal of Ecology
--1938: made professor of botany at the University of Sheffield
--1940: elected to the Royal Society
--1944-1957: Quain professor of botany, University College, London
--1948-1961: editor, Annals of Botany
--1949: helps create the Nature Conservancy
--1950: publishes his Mountains and Moorlands
--1963: receives the gold medal of the Linnean Society of London
--dies at Morecambe and Heysham, England, on 14 October 1964.

For Additional Information, See:

--Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, Vol. 17 (1971).
--Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 43 (2004).
--Annals of Botany, Vol. 29 (January 1965).
--Nature, Vol. 205(4966) (1965): 21.

*                 *                 *                 *                 *

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

Return to Home/Alphabetical Listing by Name
Return to Listing by Country
Return to Listing by Discipline