Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Phillips, John Charles (United States 1876-1938)
wildlife biology, conservation

Photo courtesy of The Auk.
Phillips was independently wealthy and although completing his M.D. program in 1904, never practiced medicine. Instead he made it his goal to become a conservation-oriented independent public servant, and to this end he spent a well-filled life traveling, observing, collecting specimens, and collaborating with both individuals and institutions according to purpose. It was Phillips, for example, who raised the money to support the studies of Harper and Allen leading to the survey volumes on extinct and vanishing mammals of the old and new worlds published in 1945 and 1942, respectively. He was also a founder (and first chairman) of the American Committee for International Wild Life. Phillips' over two hundred publications reflect wide-ranging interests in animal breeding, sport hunting, ornithology, international wildlife conservation, faunal surveys and systematic reviews, Mendelian genetics, bibliography, and history; his most successful was probably his four part monograph A Natural History of the Ducks. Phillips was also a notable philanthropist who not only donated a number of his collections of specimens and artifacts to various institutions, but gave away several large tracts of land to support nature reserve development.

Life Chronology

--born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 5 November 1876.
--1896: accompanies Peary in Greenland expedition
--1899: B.S., Harvard University
--1904: M.D., Harvard Medical School
--1904-1906: house officer at Boston City hospital
--1906-1914: travels in Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Blue Nile region, the Canadian Rockies and Pacific Northwest, Baja California, Sudan, Arabia and Palestine
--1915-1919: serves as surgeon in the Royal Army and U. S. Army Medical Corps
--1922-1926: publishes his A Natural History of the Ducks, in four volumes
--1923-1924: takes part in expedition to Africa
--1925: elected fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union
--1926-1932: president, Massachusetts Fish and Game Association
--1928: publishes his Wild Birds Introduced or Transplanted in North America
--1930: publishes his American Waterfowl; Their Present Situation and the Outlook for Their Future, with F. C. Lincoln
--1930-1938: chairman, American Committee for International Wild Life
--1931-1938: member of the faculty of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University
--1933: takes part in international conference to develop conservation strategies in Africa
--1938: visits Cuba and Florida with Thomas Barbour
--dies near Exeter, New Hampshire, on 14 November 1938.

For Additional Information, See:

--National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 29 (1941).
--The Auk, Vol. 56(3) (1939): 221-226.
--Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 74(6) (1940): 155-157.

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

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