Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Salomonsen, Finn (Denmark 1909-1983)

Salomonsen was a leading ornithologist of his generation who made his mark through his career-length studies of the birds of Greenland. These culminated in his best known work, the two volume set The Birds of Greenland, published in 1950-1951. Salomonsen's research centered on two themes: extensive early studies on moulting patterns, and a later ongoing interest in banding efforts and the identification of migration paths. Additionally, as his Ibis obituary states: "He wrote faunistic accounts not only of Scandinavian, Faroese and Greenland birds but also of the montane birds of Madagascar and the Philippines, and systematic reviews of the Atlantic Alcidae, the African kingfishers, Asian paradise flycatchers, flowerpeckers and honeyeaters, and herons of New Guinea." Many of his two hundred publications contain discussions of ecological, zoogeographic, and evolutionary sub-themes related to particular geographical or systematic emphases. Salomonsen also was an important advocate for the conservation of birds, especially those of Greenland.

Life Chronology

--born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 31 January 1909.
--1932: obtains degree in zoology
--1936-1943: zoological assistant in the Danish Nature Reserves
--1936, 1946, 1949, 1954, 1960, 1963-1965, 1968, 1970-1980: field trips to northwestern Greenland
--1939: obtains his doctorate
--1942-1961: editor of Dansk Ornithologisk Forenings Tidsskrift
--1943-1952: assistant in ornithology, Zoological Museum, Copenhagen
--1950-1951: publishes his The Birds of Greenland, in two volumes
--1951-1952: takes part in expedition to the Philippines
--1952: advanced to curator at the Zoological Museum, Copenhagen
--1958: publishes his The Arctic Year, with P. Freuchen
--1958-1978: chief curator, Zoological Museum, Copenhagen
--1959-1971: president of the Danish Ornithological Society (Dansk Ornitologisk Forening)
--1962: takes part in expedition to New Guinea's Bismarck Archipelago
--1968: publishes "The Moult Migration" in Wildfowl
--1977: contributes to the passage of a law prohibiting excessive bird hunting in Greenland
--dies on 27 April 1983.

For Additional Information, See:

--The Auk, Vol. 103(4) (1986): 811.
--Ibis, Vol. 127 (1985): 391-393.

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

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