RESOURCES: Ecology's Early Years

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Science  23 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5743, pp. 1971
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5743.1971d

Just about any ecology text will highlight the work of British researcher David Lack (1910-1973), who argued that moderate-sized clutches of bird eggs yield the most surviving offspring. But most books don't supply much information about Lack himself. For brief biographies of Lack and more than 100 other early ecologists, evolutionists, and biogeographers, flip through this reference from Charles Smith, a science librarian at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, and colleagues. The site spans the 17th century to 1950 and describes each researcher's significance, provides a chronology, and includes links to any online books or papers. You can dig up details about figures such as the Scottish-born Alexander Wilson (1766-1813), who compiled the first catalog of American birds in between writing poetry.

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