Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Wagner, Moritz Friedrich (Germany 1813-1887)
natural history, geography
Moritz Wagner was one of the foremost traveler-explorers
of the mid-nineteenth century, and he faithfully reported the scientific
and ethnological results of his many expeditions through a long series
of monographic and serial writings. Wagner's considerable experience led
him to conclude that both human and animal and plant populations had dispersed
widely, adapting to local conditions in situ. This led in some
instances to the isolation of a small number of colonists from their original
populations--and, Wagner reasoned, this was a condition for any subsequent
speciation episodes contributing to a general evolutionary process. His
views on this matter led to a now-celebrated discussion on biogeography
and speciation with Charles Darwin over this interpretation. Wagner's
ideas were actually based in Lamarckian thinking (regarding the ability
of individuals to generate species-level changes) and didn't attract much
support--except among some ethnographers (for example, Friedrich Ratzel),
who found them somewhat more applicable in aiding an understanding of
human cultural evolution.
--born in Bayreuth, Germany, on 3 October 1813.
--educated at the University of Augsburg
--1834: leaves work as a clerk in Marseilles to study natural science
in Paris, Erlangen, and Munich
--1836-1838: travels in Algeria
--1838: made an editor of the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung
--1842-1846: travels in Armenia and the Caucasus Mountains
--1846-1849: travels in Italy
--1850-1851: travels in Asia Minor and Central Asia
--1852-1855: travels in the United States, the West Indies, and Central
--1854: publishes his Reisen
in Nordamerika, in three volumes, with Carl Scherzer
--1857-1860: travels in Central America and Ecuador
--1862: made professor of geography and ethnography at the University
of Munich; becomes director of the ethnographic museum, Munich
--1865: made a member of the German Academy of Natural Scientsts Leopoldina
--1868: publishes his Die
Darwin'sche Theorie und das Migrationsgesetz der Organismen
--dies at Munich, Germany, on 31 May 1887.
--1889: his Die
Entstehung der Arten durch Raumliche Sonderung is posthumously
--Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography,
Vol. 6 (1889).
--Studies in History of Biology, Vol. 3 (1979): 23-65.
--Journal of the History
of Biology, Vol. 43(4) (2010): 727-766.
--Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C., Vol.
52 (1989): 78-91.
--Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, Vol. 40 (1896): 532-543. [in
Wagner: Ein deutsches Forscherleben (1888). [in German]
--Taxonomic Literature, Vol. 7 (1988).
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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