Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Went, Frits Warmolt (Netherlands-United States 1903-1990)
plant physiology

Went came to the attention of workers in his field early with his dissertation studies on the plant growth hormone auxin. After his emigration to the United States in 1933 he became increasingly interested in the ecological and climatological interactions between plants and their environment. In 1949 he built the first phytotron, designed to facilitate controlled studies of the effect of climate on plant life; he was also involved in studies on atmospheric hydrocarbons and other kinds of matter found in the atmosphere, soil fungi, competition and evolution in desert plants, and air pollution (including the "blue haze" theory). Went displayed a striking penchant for thinking originally, coming up with many new ideas and approaches (not all of which have been accepted) and tending to avoid bandwagon subjects.

Life Chronology

--born in Utrecht, Netherlands, on 18 May 1903.
--1920: enters the University of Utrecht
--1926-1927: experiments with the plant growth hormone auxin
--1927: Ph.D., University of Utrecht
--1927-1933: plant physiologist, Royal Botanical Gardens at Buitenzorg, Java
--1933-1935: assistant professor of plant physiology, California Institute of Technology
--1935-1958: professor of plant physiology, California Institute of Technology
--1937: publishes his Phytohormones, with Kenneth V. Thimann
--1944: publishes "Plant Growth Under Controlled Conditions. II." in the American Journal of Botany
--1947: elected to the National Academy of Sciences
--1949: builds the first phytotron
--1956: elected to the French Academy of Sciences
--1957: publishes his The Experimental Control of Plant Growth
--1958-1963: director, Missouri Botanical Garden
--1960: publishes "Blue Hazes in the Atmosphere" in Nature
--1963-1965: professor, Washington University, St. Louis
--1964: publishes his The Plants
--1965: receives the Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award from the American Society of Plant Physiologists
--1965-1985: distinguished professor of botany at the Desert Research Institute in Reno
--1967: receives the Hodgkins Award from the Smithsonian Institution
--dies at Reno, Nevada, on 1 May 1990.

For Additional Information, See:

--Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.), Vol. 74 (1998).
--Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Vol. 78(1) (1991): 1-18.
--Rivista di Biologia-Biology Forum, Vol. 95(2) (2002): 289-307
--Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 42(2): 289-324 .
--Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists, Vol. 4 (1995).

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

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