Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Steenis, Cornelis Gijsbert Gerrit Jan "Kees" van (Netherlands 1901-1986)
phytogeography, floristics, conservation

Photo courtesy of the Nationaal Herbarium Nederland.
Kees van Steenis, one the twentieth century's most focused phytogeographers, knew early on that he wanted to work on tropical floras. After finishing his Ph.D. at Utrecht he spent nearly twenty years in Java, where he took an especial interest in conservation issues, and conceived a plan to produce a Flora Malesiana series. On returning to Europe he made this vision a reality, and now, after more than fifty years, the project is still on track. Van Steenis himself contributed many volumes and parts of volumes to the series, which has become his main scientific legacy. Van Steenis' treatments of the plants of the Indonesian region cover all the natural history bases--taxonomy, evolution, conservation, and phytogeography--though unfortunately most of his earlier writings are in Dutch and have not been translated.

Life Chronology

--born in Utrecht, Netherlands, on 31 October 1901.
--1915-1920: attends Municipal Secondary School in Utrecht
--1925: M.S., University of Utrecht
--1927: Ph.D., University of Utrecht
--1927-1946: botanist working at the Botanic Garden at Buitenzorg (Bogor), Indonesia
--1931: publishes his first paper on nature conservation in Indonesia
--1935-1942: botanical co-editor of De Tropische Natuur
--1942-1943: under arrest by the Japanese
--1946-1949: stationed in the Netherlands
--1948: the first of the Flora Malesiana, Being an Illustrated Systematic Account of the Malaysian Flora... comes out
--1950-1986: director and general editor of the Flora Malesiana Foundation
--1961: receives the Dutch Order of the Nederlandsche Leeuw
--1962: publishes "The Land-bridge Theory in Botany with Particular Reference to Tropical Plants" in Blumea
--1962-1972: director of the Leiden Rijksherbarium
--1980: visits Papandajan volcano and North Sumatra
--dies on 14 May 1986.

For Additional Information, See:

--Blumea, Vol. 20(1) (1987): 1-37.
--Tropical Ecology, Vol. 13(1-4) (1972).
--Taxon, Vol. 35(4) (1986): 937-938.
--The Plant Diversity of Malesia: Proceedings of the Flora Malesiana Symposium (1990): 1-9, 305-311.
--Taxonomic Literature, Vol. 5 (1985).

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

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