Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Willdenow, Karl Ludwig (Germany 1765-1812)
from Wikipedia.org |Willdenow
may be counted as one of the first phytogeographers. His studies and
writings predate even those of von Humboldt, to whom he was something
of a mentor, and who later sent him copious materials gathered from
his travels. Willdenow in fact mainly occupied himself with taxonomic
studies based on collections sent to him by other naturalists, and
the extensive herbarium of specimens he thereby gathered still exists
(it was purchased after his death by the Berlin Botanical Garden,
which under his directorship had greatly prospered). His phytogeographical
studies led to ideas that were later developed further by Humboldt
and others; for example, the notions that plant distribution patterns
changed over time, that the barriers to dispersal were not absolute,
that climate influenced the numbers and character of plant species
found in a given area, and that new plant species could arise and
that many previously existing ones had gone extinct.
--born in Berlin, Germany, on 22 August 1765.
--1785: completes pharmacy school program at Wiegleb College in Langensalza;
begins study of medicine
--1787: publishes his Florae
--1788: meets Alexander von Humboldt
--1789: M.D., University of Halle
--1790: takes over his father's apothecary business in Berlin; stays until
--1792: publishes his Grundriss
der Kräuterkunde zu Vorlesungen (in 1805 translated into
English as Principles
--1794: admitted to the Berlin Academy of Sciences
--1798: made professor of natural history at the Berlin Medical-Surgical
--1801: named director of the Berlin Botanical Garden; named principal
botanist of the Berlin Academy of Sciences.
--1810: made professor of botany at the University of Berlin
--dies at Berlin, Germany, on 10 July 1812.
--1818: Willdenow's personal herbarium is purchased by the Berlin Botanical
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 14 (1976).
--Willdenowia, Vol. 4(1) (1965): 1-21.
--Taxonomic Literature, Vol. 7 (1988).
--Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, Vol. 43 (1898).
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
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