Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Setchell, William Albert (United States 1864-1943)
algology, phytogeography

Setchell's main interest lay in the study of algae, and on this subject he became a leading authority. Morphology, systematics, ecology, and biogeography of the group were all investigated in his many publications; among his contributions was elucidating the role of algae in the formation of coral reefs. In biogeography he reveals himself to be a descendant of Humboldtian thinking, especially in his examination of the relation between temperature gradients and distribution patterns (mostly of algae, but also of terrestrial vascular plants).

Life Chronology

--born in Norwich, Connecticut, on 15 April 1864.
--1883: publishes his A Catalogue of Wild Plants Growing in Norwich and Vicinity
--1887: A.B., Yale University
--1890: Ph.D. in botany, Harvard University
--1890-1895: teaches biology and botany at Yale
--1895-1919: involved in the issuance of the Phycotheca Boreali-Americana series
--1895-1934: professor and head of the department of botany, University of California, Berkeley
--1899: collecting expedition to Alaska
--1900: collecting expedition to Hawaii
--1903-1904: takes world botanical tour
--1919: publishes the first of the Marine Algae of the Pacific Coast series
--1919: elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society
--1920: studies coral reefs in Samoa
--1920-1929: various botanical trips to the Pacific, Indo-Australia, Japan, and Africa
--1925: publishes "The Marine Algae of the Pacific Coast of North America. Part III. Melanophyceae." in University of California Publications in Botany
--1926: appointed to attend the Third Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo
--1926-1927: takes world botanical tour
--1929: appointed to attend the Fourth Pacific Science Congress in Java
--1929: publishes "Morphological and Phenological Notes on Zostera marina L." in University of California Publications in Botany
--1933: appointed to attend the Fifth Pacific Science Congress in Victoria, British Columbia
--dies at Berkeley, California, on 5 April 1943.

For Additional Information, See:

--Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.), Vol. 23 (1945).
--American National Biography, Vol. 19 (1999).
--National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 32 (1945).
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 12 (1975).
--University of California: In Memoriam, April 1943. [website]
--American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 30(3) (1943): 529-532.
--Taxonomic Literature, Vol. 5 (1985).
--Prominent Phycologists of the 20th Century (1996): 102-114.

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

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