Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Schimper, Andreas Franz Wilhelm (Germany
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Schimper remains a much respected figure within the
fields of botany and phytogeography, where he introduced several key concepts.
In his early studies he worked on the relation of plastids to starch formation
and was the first to describe chloroplasts, but he soon turned to plant
ecology and phytogeography. Much of his work was based on a series of
natural history expeditions he made to various points around the world.
He made advances in physiological ecology especially, identifying connections
between temperature and moisture and particular morphological adaptations.
He was recognized as an expert on tropical vegetation and produced important
works on epiphytes and tropical coastal vegetation forms. Schimper's books
feature distribution maps and other devices fortifying the notion of "vegetation"
and units of such (e.g., the tropical rain forest), and for such efforts
he is often recognized as the founder of the approach to ecological investigation
known as synecology. His life was amazingly productive, considering that
he was only 45 when he died.
--born in Strasbourg, France, on 12 May 1856.
--1864-1874: attends the Strasbourg Gymnasium
--1874: enters the University of Strasbourg
--1878: finishes his Ph.D. at the University of Strasbourg
--1879-1880: works with J. Sachs in Würzburg
--1880-1882: fellow at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
--1881: travels to Florida and the West Indies
--1882-1883: visits Venezuela and the West Indies
--1883: hired as lecturer at the University of Bonn
--1883: publishes "Über die Entwickelung der Chlorophyllkörner
und Farbkörper" in Botanische Zeitung
--1885: publishes "Untersuchungen
über die Chlorophyllkörper und die Ihnen Homologen Gebilde"
in Jahrbücher für Wissenschaftliche Botanik; coins
the term "Chloroplastiden" (chloroplasts)
--1886: named extraordinary professor, University of Bonn
--1886: visits Brazil and the West Indies
--1888: publishes his Die
Epiphytische Vegetation Amerikas
--1889-1890: studies beach vegetation in Sri Lanka and Java
--1891: publishes his Die
--1898: publishes his Pflanzen-geographie
auf Physiologischer Grundlage (the influential
English edition was published posthumously in 1903)
--1898: coins the term "tropical rain forest"
--1898-1899: botanist aboard the Valdivia: visits numerous oceanic
islands, the Cape of Good Hope, West and East Africa, Sumatra
--1899-1901: professor of botany, University of Basel
--dies at Basel, Switzerland, on 9 September 1901.
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 12 (1975).
--Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists, 2d ed., Vol. 2 (1994).
--Taxonomic Literature, Vol. 5 (1985).
--Endeavour, Vol. 26(1) (2002): 3-4.
Vol. 33(2) (1902): 160-161.
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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