botany

Charles de l’Écluse and the Dutch Tulips

Charles de l’Écluse and the Dutch Tulips

On April 4, 1609, Flemish doctor and pioneering botanist Charles de l’Écluse, L’Escluse, or with his Latin name Carolus Clusius passed away. He is considered perhaps the most influential of all 16th-century scientific horticulturists. He travelled and collected botanical information throughout Europe, and introduced new plants from outside Europe. In the history of gardening he is remembered not only for his scholarship but also for laying the foundations of Dutch tulip breeding…
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Anna Atkins – Botanist and Photographer

Anna Atkins – Botanist and Photographer

On March 16, 1799, English botanist and photographer Anna Atkins was born. She is often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images. Morover, she is also considered by some for being the first woman to create a photograph. “The difficulty of making accurate drawings of objects so minute as many of the Algae and Confervae has induced me to avail myself of Sir John Herschel’s beautiful process…
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John Fothergill – Physician and Gardener

John Fothergill – Physician and Gardener

On March 8, 1712, English physician, plant collector, philanthropist and Quaker John Fothergill was born. He was first to describe coronary arteriosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the arterial wall, with a loss of elasticity and reduced blood flow) associated with angina pectoris. John Fothergill Background and Early Years John Fothergill was born at Carr End, near Bainbridge in Yorkshire, the son of John Fothergill, a Quaker preacher and farmer. John went to…
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Gaspard Bauhin and the Classification of Plants

Gaspard Bauhin and the Classification of Plants

On January 17, 1560, Swiss botanist Gaspard Bauhin was born. He is best known for his contributions to the field of botany, and especially for his classification of plants. He was a disciple of the famous Italian physician Girolamo Mercuriale and he also worked on human anatomical nomenclature. Gaspard Bauhin – Early Years Caspar Bauhin came from the Bauhin medical family, which had fled to Basel as Huguenots from Paris and Amsterdam;…
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Joseph Jackson Lister – Perfecting the Optical Microscope

Joseph Jackson Lister – Perfecting the Optical Microscope

On January 11, 1786, British amateur opticist and physicist Joseph Jackson Lister was born. In 1826, Lister designed possibly the most important optical microscope ever made. It used an achromatic objective lens corrected for chromatic and spherical aberrations, the resulting image was at the time the clearest produced by any microscope. Joseph Jackson Lister – Family Background Joseph Jackson Lister was the son of a London wine merchant and Quaker. He attended school until 1800 and was then…
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The Fantastic Gardens of Hermann von Pückler-Muskau

The Fantastic Gardens of Hermann von Pückler-Muskau

On October 30, 1785, German nobleman Prince Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau was born. Von Pückler-Muskau was an excellent artist in landscape gardening and wrote widely appreciated books, mostly about his travels in Europe and Northern Africa, published under the pen name of “Semilasso“. “Under 20 cases, 19 times the firm will and patience makes the so-called impossible easily possible beyond all expectations.” – Hermann von Pückler-Muskau [1] Family Background and Education…
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Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

Johann Hedwig – the Father of Bryology

On December 8, 1730, German botanist Johann Hedwig was born. Hedwig is notable for his studies of mosses for which he is sometimes called the father of bryology, in particular the observation of sexual reproduction in the cryptogams. He dealt with the anatomy, fertilization, and reproduction of mosses and introduced a new method of classification based on the distribution of spores (reproductive bodies). Hedwig was the first to recognize the true organs…
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Nikolai Vavilov and the Centres of Origin of Cultivated Plants

Nikolai Vavilov and the Centres of Origin of Cultivated Plants

On November 25, 1887, Russian and Soviet botanist and geneticist Nikolai Vavilov was born. Vavilov is best known for having identified the centres of origin of cultivated plants. He devoted his life to the study and improvement of wheat, corn, and other cereal crops that sustain the global population. He established 400 research institutes and made expeditions throughout the world (1916-33), leading Russian plant hunters on the first attempt to “cover the…
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Eugen Warming – Founding Figure of the Science of Ecology

Eugen Warming – Founding Figure of the Science of Ecology

On November 3, 1841, Danish botanist Eugen Warming was born. Warming is considered a main founding figure of the scientific discipline of ecology. He wrote the first textbook on plant ecology in 1895, taught the first university course in ecology and gave the concept its meaning and content. Early Life and Education Eugen Warming was born on the small Wadden Sea island of Mandø as the only child of Jens Warming, parish minister,…
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Carl Correns and the Principles of Heredity

Carl Correns and the Principles of Heredity

On September 19, 1864, German botanist and geneticist Carl Erich Correns was born. Correns is notable primarily for his independent discovery of the principles of heredity, and for his rediscovery of Gregor Mendel‘s earlier paper on that subject, which he achieved simultaneously but independently of the botanists Erich Tschermak and Hugo de Vries, and the agronomist William Jasper Spillman.[5] Family and Academic Carreer Carl Correns came from a family of lawyers in the…
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