- Tansley , Sir Arthur George
- (1871–1955) British plant ecologistTansley was born in London. Having found his school science teaching “farcically inadequate,” he attended lectures at University College, London, where he received his first proper tuition in botany from Francis Oliver. In 1890 he went to Cambridge University and on graduation returned to London as Oliver's assistant.In the following years Tansley's thinking was greatly influenced by two major books, Ecological Plant Geography (1895) by E. Warming and The Physiological Basis of Plant Geography(1898) by Andreas Schimper. These – together with his travels in Ceylon, Malaya, and Egypt – stimulated his interest in different vegetation types.In 1902 Tansley founded The New Phytologist, a journal designed to promote botanical communication and debate in Britain. In 1913 he founded and became the first president of the British Ecological Society and four years later founded and edited the Journal of Ecology. These activities, and his ecology courses at Cambridge, played a large part in establishing the science of ecology.After World War I Tansley turned to psychology and resigned from Cambridge in 1923 to spend time studying under Sigmund Freud in Austria. In 1927 he became professor of botany at Oxford University, a position held until his retirement in 1937. He continued to exert much influence, however, becoming president of the Council for the Promotion of Field Studies in 1947 and chairman of the Nature Conservancy Council in 1949, both bodies that he had helped to create. Probably his most important book,The British Islands and Their Vegetation (1939), was also published after his retirement.
Scientists. Academic. 2011.