21 Facts About Arthur Tansley


Sir Arthur George Tansley FLS, FRS was an English botanist and a pioneer in the science of ecology.


Arthur Tansley founded the New Phytologist in 1902 and served as its editor until 1931.


Arthur Tansley was a pioneer of the science of ecology in Britain, being heavily influenced by the work of Danish botanist Eugenius Warming, and introduced the concept of the ecosystem into biology.


Arthur Tansley was a founding member of the first professional society of ecologists, the Central Committee for the Survey and Study of British Vegetation, which later organised the British Ecological Society, and served as its first president and founding editor of the Journal of Ecology.


Arthur Tansley served as the first chairman of the British Nature Conservancy.


Arthur Tansley was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1915, and knighted in 1950.


Arthur Tansley was born in London to businessman George Arthur Tansley and his wife Amelia.


George Arthur Tansley later went on to be a volunteer teacher, retiring from his business in 1884 to dedicate himself to teaching at the college.


Arthur Tansley taught and conducted research at University College London from 1893 until 1907.


When he returned to Britain in 1924 Arthur Tansley was appointed acting chairman of the British Empire Vegetation Committee.


In establishing this journal, Arthur Tansley's aim was to provide a venue for the publication of "notes and suggestions"; existing botanical journals only published records of completed research.


In 1904 Arthur Tansley suggested the formation of a central body for the systematic survey and mapping of the British Isles.


Arthur Tansley was inspired by a plant geography tour of Switzerland organised by Swiss botanist Carl Schroter in 1908, which introduced him not only to vegetation types, but to botanists from other countries.


Arthur Tansley served as its first president, and was first editor of the Journal of Ecology, a position he held for 21 years.


Arthur Tansley served as president of the BES a second time in 1938.


In 1935 Arthur Tansley published "The use and abuse of vegetational terms and concepts" in which he introduced the ecosystem concept.


Arthur Tansley devised the concept to draw attention to the importance of transfers of materials between organisms and their environment, regarding ecosystems as the basic units of nature.


Arthur Tansley chaired a committee of the BES that formulated a policy on nature reserves and led to the formation of the Nature Conservancy, which he chaired.


Arthur Tansley was introduced to psychology by a former student, Bernard Hart, who worked as a doctor in mental hospitals near London.


In 1922 Arthur Tansley spent three months with Freud, and the following year he moved his family to Vienna for a year.


In 1903 Arthur Tansley married Edith Chick, a former student with whom he coauthored two papers.