Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Pitelka, Frank Alois (United States 1916-2003)
ornithology, ecology

Photo courtesy of the Ecological Society of America.
Frank Pitelka spent his entire career at the University of California, Berkeley, where in addition to his research and teaching he oversaw thirty-seven Ph.D. dissertations and was constantly involved in all manner of social and professional service. Pitelka was a Charles Elton-influenced ecologist interested in population and behavioral approaches; most of his studies were on birds or small mammals. He was especially interested in the population cycles of arctic forms, and explored many related dynamics of territory, breeding, resource base, demography, etc. He is remembered by many for his annual field excursions to Barrow, Alaska, and for his "nutrient recovery" theory of the generation of small mammal population cycles.

Life Chronology

--born in Chicago, Illinois, on 27 March 1916.
--1939: B.S., University of Illinois
--1944: joins the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley
--1945-1963: curator of birds, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
--1946: Ph.D., University of California, UC Berkeley
--1948-1950: president, Cooper Ornithological Society
--1949-1950: Guggenheim fellow
--1951-1980: research associate, Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, Barrow, Alaska
--1955: publishes "Ecological Relations of Jaegers and Owls as Lemming Predators Near Barrow, Alaska" in Ecological Monographs, with P. Tomich and G. Treichel
--1958-1985: professor of zoology, UC Berkeley
--1959: publishes "Numbers, Breeding Schedule, and Territoriality in Pectoral Sandpipers of Northern Alaska" in Condor
--1962-1964: editor, Ecology
--1963-1966, 1969-1971: chairman, department of zoology, UC Berkeley
--1974: publishes "Ecology and Evolution of Social Organization in Arctic Sandpipers" in American Zoologist, with R. T. Holmes and S. F. MacLean, Jr.
--1979: publishes his Shorebirds in Marine Environments
--1980: receives the American Ornithologists' Union's Brewster award
--1982-1997: associate director, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
--1984-1987: editor, Studies in Avian Biology
--1985: made professor emeritus at UC Berkeley
--1992: receives Eminent Ecologist award from the Ecological Society of America
--1997: honorary Ph.D., Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
--2001: receives the Cooper Ornithological Society's Loye and Alden Miller Research Award
--dies at Altadena, California, on 10 October 2003.

For Additional Information, See:

--The Auk, Vol. 121(3) (2004): 963-965.
--Condor, Vol. 103(4) (2001): 901.
--Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Vol. 73(4) (1992): 272-273.
--Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Vol. 85(2) (2004): 44-49.

*                 *                 *                 *                 *

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