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Pedagogical Genealogy and Microbiographies

Pedagogical Genealogy Chart

The Plant Ecologists family tree, an update of Doug Sprugel’s 1980 “Pedagogical Genealogy of American Plant Ecologists” shows the academic lineage of all plant ecologists (broadly interpreted) who have served as ESA presidents, been named Eminent Ecologists, or received the MacArthur Award. Others are included to represent various lineages of ecological pedagogy and to help trace the origins of and intellectual influences on those presented.
Ecologists wishing to develop their own academic family trees are welcome to copy any parts of this chart (with reasonable credit). Additional resources include The Academic Family tree and the Academic Genealogy wiki.


The “microbiographies” listed below were compiled as an adjunct to the “pedagogical genealogy”. For this reason, a special effort was made to ensure that advisor/advisee information was correct.  In most cases the advisor’s name is followed by a note or code indicating the evidence that that person was in fact the individual’s advisor. Codes are: C = confirmed by the advisor or the advisee, D = published dissertation contains a clear and unequivocal acknowledgment of the adviser.  Most other information was gathered from the subject of the microbiography (considered the definitive source), American Men and Women of Science, Charles Smith’s biographical series, obituaries and biographical memoirs, and as a last resort, Wikipedia.  Since this information was collected in the course of a study of pedagogy, only teaching history is given; research appointments are not included. Links to ESA online information (Presidential bios, Awards, and Resolutions of Respect/obituaries) are provided where available, along with links to external biographical information and, where known, archival papers held at repositories across the U.S.