Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Thienemann, August Friedrich (Germany 1882-1960)

Photo courtesy Societas Internationalis Limnologiae (SIL)

Thienemann was a central figure in the early twentieth century development of limnology as a science. His work was in advance of its time and extended both to the biological and physical sides of the subject. Even before World War I he was treating lake ecology in terms of hierarchical relationships and disturbance dynamics, and by 1918 he had recognized that disturbance influenced biodiversity characteristics. In the 1920s and 1930s he undertook regional analyses and studies identifying food chain relationships and nutrient cycle patterns. Around the same time he worked with Einar Naumann to develop the lake typology (oligotrophic, eutrophic, etc.) still familiar (though less commonly used) today. He was also the leading expert on the chironomid fauna of lakes, and an active voice for the conservation of lake systems and the training of personnel to manage them. Thienemann and Naumann were co-founders of the International Association for Theoretical and Applied Limnology, and Thienemann directed the Max Planck Institute for Limnology for nearly forty years. He was the editor of Archiv für Hydrobiologie for a similar length of time, during which period he oversaw the publication of some 60,000 printed pages of writings. Thienemann himself published nearly five hundred works, including several books.

Life Chronology

--born in Gotha, Germany, on 7 September 1882.
--1901-1905: studies natural sciences and philosophy at the universities at Greifswald, Innsbruck, and Heidelberg
--1905: Ph.D. in zoology, Greifswald
--1907-1917: directs the fresh water fisheries station at the University of Münster
--1914-1916: military service
--1916: made editor of the Archiv für Hydrobiologie
--1917: made professor of hydrobiology at the University of Kiel
--1917-1957: director of (what is now known as) the Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Plön
--1918: publishes "Lebensgemeinschaft und Lebensraum" in Naturwissenschaftliche Wochenschrift
--1922: with Einar Naumann founds the International Association for Theoretical and Applied Limnology
--1924-1950: ordinary professor of hydrobiology at the University of Kiel
--1925: publishes his Die Binnengewässer Mitteleuropas: Eine Limnologische Einführung; made editor of Die Binnengewässer
--1928-1929: heads limnological expedition to Sumatra, Java and Bali
--1932: admitted to the German Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina
--1950: publishes his Verbreitungsgeschichte der Süswassertierwelt Europas; Versuch einer Historischen Tiergeographie der Europäischen Binnengewässer
--1954: publishes his Chironomus; Leben, Verbreitung und Wirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Chironomiden
--1959: publishes his autobiography Erinnerungen und Tagebuchblätter eines Biologen; ein Leben im Dieste der Limnologie
--dies at Plön, Germany, on 22 April 1960.

For Additional Information, See:

--Hydrobiologia, Vol 290(1-3) (1994): 1-12.
--Taxonomic Literature, Vol. 6 (1986).
--Oikos, Vol. 12(2) (1961): 310-319. [in German]
--"Festband August Thienemann zum 60. Geburtstage," Archiv für Hydrobiologie, Bd. 40 (1942-1945), four volumes in two. [in German]
--Erinnerungen und Tagebuchblätter eines Biologen (1959). [autobiography, in German]

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

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