ecology

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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George Stapledon and Grassland Science

George Stapledon and Grassland Science

On September 22, 1882, English grassland scientist and pioneer environmentalist Sir Reginald George Stapledon was born. Stapledon worked to compensate for the land use changes of the 20th century, after the collapse of rural mining industries of 18th and 19th centuries and resultant depopulation. Reginald George Stapledon was born at Lakenham, Northam, near Bideford, Devon, UK, the sixth of the seven children of shipping agent William Stapledon and Mary Clibbert. A family…
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Garrett Hardin and the Tragedy of the Commons

Garrett Hardin and the Tragedy of the Commons

On April 21, 1915, American ecologist and philosopher Garrett James Hardin was born. Hardin warned of the dangers of overpopulation. His exposition of the tragedy of the commons, in a famous 1968 paper in Science, called attention to “the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment“. He is also known for Hardin’s First Law of Human Ecology: “We can never do merely one thing. Any intrusion into nature…
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Veerabhadran Ramanathan and the Brown Clouds

Veerabhadran Ramanathan and the Brown Clouds

On November 24, 1944, Indian atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan was born. He has contributed to many areas of the atmospheric sciences including developments to general circulation models, atmospheric chemistry, and radiative transfer. But, he is best known for his 1999 discovery of the “Asian Brown Cloud” – wandering layers of air pollution as wide as a continent and deeper than the Grand Canyon. Veerabhadran Ramanathan received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Annamalai…
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Charles Sutherland Elton and  the beginning of Modern Animal Ecology

Charles Sutherland Elton and the beginning of Modern Animal Ecology

On March 29, 1900, English zoologist and animal ecologist Charles Sutherland Elton was born. Elton‘s name is associated with the establishment of modern population and community ecology, including studies of invasive organisms. In 1927, Elton published his now classic book Animal Ecology, in which he took up the concept of food chains that had been originally introduced by the African-Arab scientist and philosopher Al-Jahiz in the 9th century. Charles Elton attended Liverpool…
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The Biosphere 2 Missions

The Biosphere 2 Missions

On September 26, 1991, the first mission of Biosphere 2 began. Biosphere 2 is an Earth systems science research facility located in Oracle, Arizona, built to be an artificial, materially closed ecological system, or vivarium. It remains the largest closed system ever created. Biosphere 2 was constructed between 1987 and 1991 by Space Biosphere Ventures and was named Biosphere 2 because it was meant to be the second fully self-sufficient biosphere, after…
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The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau

The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau

On June 11, 1910, French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher Jacques-Yves Cousteau was born. Cousteau is best known for his extensive underseas investigations. He was co-inventor of the aqualung which made SCUBA diving possible. He pioneered marine conservation and was a member of the Académie française. Jacques Cousteau was born in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, Gironde, France, as the younger of two sons to Daniel and Élisabeth Cousteau. He…
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Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

Georg Wilhelm Steller and the Great Nordic Expedition

On March 10, 1709, German botanist, zoologist, physician and explorer Georg Wilhelm Steller was born. He joined the Russian explorer Vitus Bering on his second expedition to Kamchatka and Alaska, where he discovered numerous new species, as e.g. the Steller‘s sea cow that was named after him. Georg Wilhelm Stöller was born and grew up in Windsheim, Germany. Due to his father being a protestant church organist, Steller early decided to begin…
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