botany

Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet and his Battle against Phylloxera

Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet and his Battle against Phylloxera

On December 13, 1838, French botanist Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet was born. He is best remembered for his work dealing with plant pests, especially in the vineyards of France that were infested by the destructive Phylloxera in the 1860s. Pierre Millardet – Background Millardet attended the Collège de l’Arc and later Besançon, he studied medicine as well as nature science at the University of Freiburg and Heidelberg before becoming professor of botany at the…
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John Ray and the Classification of Plants

John Ray and the Classification of Plants

On November 29, 1627, English naturalist John Ray was born. He published important works on botany, zoology, and natural theology. His classification of plants in his Historia Plantarum, was an important step towards modern taxonomy. He advanced scientific empiricism against the deductive rationalism of the scholastics and was the first to give a biological definition of the term species. “I cannot but look upon the strange Instinct of this noisome and troublesome…
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Robert Morison and the Systematic Classification of Plants

Robert Morison and the Systematic Classification of Plants

On November 10, 1683, Scottish botanist and taxonomist Robert Morison passed away. A forerunner of naturalist John Ray, he elucidated and developed the first systematic classification of plants. Robert Morison Background Born in 1620 in Aberdeen, Scotland, as son of John Morison and his wife Anna Gray, Robert Morison was an outstanding scholar who gained his Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen at the age of eighteen. He devoted himself at first to mathematics, and studied…
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Rembert Dodoens and the Love for Botanical Science

Rembert Dodoens and the Love for Botanical Science

On June 29, 1516, Flemish physician and botanist Rembert Dodoens (Dodonaeus) was born. His seminal work Stirpium historiae pemptades sex sive libri XXX (1583) is considered one of the foremost botanical works of the late 16th century. He divided plants into 26 groups and introduced many new families. Rembert Dodoens Background Rembert Dodoens was born under the name Rembert Van Joenckema in Mechelen, Spanish Netherlands, today Flanders, Belgium. Later, he changed it…
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John Lindley and his Attempts to Formulate a Natural System of Plant Classification

John Lindley and his Attempts to Formulate a Natural System of Plant Classification

On February 5, 1799, English botanist, gardener and orchidologist John Lindley was born. His attempts to formulate a natural system of plant classification greatly aided the transition from the artificial (considering the characters of single parts) to the natural system (considering all characters of a plant). He made the first definitive orchid classification in 1830. John Lindley Background John Lindley was born in Catton, near Norwich, England, as one of four children…
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Elizabeth Gertrude Britton Knight and the Study of Mosses

Elizabeth Gertrude Britton Knight and the Study of Mosses

On January 9, 1858, American botanist, bryologist, and educator Elizabeth Gertrude Britton (née Elizabeth Gertrude Knight) was born. She and her husband, Nathaniel Lord Britton played a significant role in the fundraising and creation of the New York Botanical Garden. She is best known for her lasting contributions to bryology, the study of mosses. Elizabeth Gertrude Britton – Early Years Elizabeth Gertrude Knight was born in New York City, one of five daughters,…
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Joseph Paxton – from Gardens to Architecture

Joseph Paxton – from Gardens to Architecture

On August 3, 1803, English gardener, architect and Member of Parliament Sir Joseph Paxton was born. He is best known for designing The Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition in 1851. The Youth of a Gardener Joseph Paxton was born in Milton Bryne in Bedfordshire. His father William (1759-1810) and his mother Anne (1761-1823) were small farmers and had to raise their nine children with minimal financial means under the harsh conditions…
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Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

Royal Botanist Charles Plumier

On April 20, 1646, French botanist Charles Plumier was born. He is considered one of the most important of the botanical explorers of his time. He made three botanizing expeditions to the West Indies, which resulted in a massive work Nova Plantarum Americanarum Genera (1703–04) and was appointed botanist to king Louis XIV of France. A Friar and Botanist Charles Plumier was born in Marseille and entered the order of the Minims,…
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The Phantastic Travels of Adelbert von Chamisso

The Phantastic Travels of Adelbert von Chamisso

On January 30, 1781, German poet and naturalist of French Origin Adelbert von Chamisso was born. Some of his lyrics, ballads, and romances rank among the finest in German literature. He took part in Captain Kotzebue‘s Russian polar expedition (1815-18) and his 1835 published account of it ranges among the classics of travel. In the same way as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of Germany‘s best known poets,[4] Adelbert von Chamisso was as well a scientist…
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Conrad Gessner’s Truly Renaissance Knowledge

Conrad Gessner’s Truly Renaissance Knowledge

On March 26, 1516, Swiss naturalist and bibliographer Conrad Gessner was born. His five-volume Historiae animalium (1551–1558) is considered the beginning of modern zoology, and the flowering plant genus Gesneria is named after him. He is considered as one of the most important natural scientists of Switzerland and was sometimes referred to as the ‘German Pliny‘. The Godson and Protege of Zwingli Conrad Gessner was born and educated in Zürich, Switzerland as the…
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