Botanists

Botanists are people who study botany (the science of studying plant biology) and conduct research base on their studies. Apart from plants, they also study fungi and algae. Conducting research on fossilized plants is the job of those botanists who have specialized knowledge in paleobotany. Botanists possess specific knowledge in ethnobotany which is the study of the use of plants by different cultures. Identification and classification of new species of plants are some of the important segments of a botanist’s work. Scientific study of plants helps us to comprehend the effect of plants on human and animals. Their study also works to determine the medicinal effect of any plant. Armed with modern scientific equipment, botanists conduct studies into the genetic structure of specific plants. To investigate the effects of various environmental factors like temperature, sunlight, soil and rainfall on plants is a part of a botanist’s profession. By using biochemical and molecular techniques, botanists also examine the nature of evolution of plants. Based on their findings, they prepare scientific reports and papers. They play a key role in developing drugs and other products from plants. Their study plays a vital role in controlling the factors of pollution in nature. What follows is a collection of the biographies, timelines, trivia and other information about the professional and personal lives of some of the world’s most famous botanists.
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 1 Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus.
6
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: May 23, 1707
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Linnés Råshults Stiftelse, Älmhult Municipality, Sweden
Died: January 10, 1778

Swedish botanist and lecturer Carl Linnaeus, who established the concept of binomial nomenclature, or the system of naming organisms, is also known as the father of modern taxonomy. His system of classification is known as Linnaean taxonomy. He was the first to include humans and apes under the header Anthropomorpha.

 2 George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver.
8
Famous As: Scientist & Inventor
Birthdate: January 1, 1864
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Diamond, Missouri, United States
Died: January 5, 1943
Agricultural scientist George Washington Carver is best remembered for promoting crops that were alternative to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. He invented ways to prevent soil depletion and developed scores of products made from peanuts, including paints and cosmetics. He won numerous honors, such as the Spingarn Medal.

 3 Jagadish Chandra Bose

Jagadish Chandra Bose.
8
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 30, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bikrampur, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now Munshiganj District of Bangladesh)
Died: November 23, 1937

Indian physicist, biologist, and plant physiologist Jagadish Chandra Bose revolutionized science with his research on how plants and animals react to external stimuli. He founded the Bose Institute, made pioneering contribution to the field of radio and microwave optics, and also penned one of the first works of Bengali science fiction.

 4 John Muir

John Muir.
4
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: April 21, 1838
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dunbar
Died: December 24, 1914

John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, botanist, zoologist, and author. Nicknamed Father of the National Parks and John of the Mountains, Muir was an influential proponent of the preservation of wilderness in the US. He is credited with co-founding the American conservation organization, The Sierra Club. Muir is considered a hero by many environmentalists around the world.

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 5 Li Ching-Yuen

Li Ching-Yuen.
6
Famous As: Herbalist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Chongqing, China
Died: May 6, 1933

 6 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.
4
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: August 1, 1744
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bazentin, France
Died: December 18, 1829

French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck acquired his love for plants while serving as a soldier in the French army. Following an injury, he quit his military career but retained his love for botany. He later taught zoology, studied the classification of invertebrates, and also coined the term biology.

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 7 Antoine-Augustin Parmentier

Antoine-Augustin Parmentier
6
Famous As: Botanist, Pharmacist, Physician, Agronomist, Nutritionist
Birthdate: August 12, 1737
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montdidier
Died: December 17, 1813

While in prison, in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War, army pharmacist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier was forced to eat potatoes, which were considered fit only for prison ration and animal feed back then. Parmentier later persuaded the Paris Faculty of Medicine to declare potatoes edible and popularized them in France.

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 8 Stamford Raffles

Stamford Raffles.
6
Famous As: Former Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies
Birthdate: July 6, 1781
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Port Morant, Jamaica
Died: July 5, 1826

Stamford Raffles was a British statesman who served as the Lieutenant-Governor of the Dutch East Indies from 1811 to 1816. From 1818 to 1824, he served as the Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen. Raffles is best remembered for founding the Straits Settlements and modern Singapore. He also played a major role in the invasion of Java in 1811 during the Napoleonic Wars.

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 9 Lynn Margulis

Lynn Margulis.
6
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 5, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: November 22, 2011

Lynn Margulis was an evolutionary theorist, biologist, educator, and science author. She was a modern proponent of the significance of symbiosis in evolution. Along with British chemist James Lovelock, Margulis was the co-developer of the Gaia hypothesis. She was a strong critic of neo-Darwinism. In 2001, she was honored with the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. 

 10 Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes.
4
Famous As: Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists
Birthdate: October 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: October 2, 1958
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 11 Jan Smuts

Jan Smuts
8
Famous As: Botanist, Officer, Lawyer
Birthdate: May 24, 1870
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Malmesbury, Western Cape
Died: September 11, 1950

Jan Smuts was a South African military leader, statesman, and philosopher. He played a key role in the formation of the Union of South Africa and helped shape its constitution. From 1919 to 1924 and again from 1939 to 1948, he served as the Union of South Africa's prime minister. He played a major role in establishing the United Nations.

 12 Gifford Pinchot

Gifford Pinchot
8
Famous As: Forestry scientist
Birthdate: August 11, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Simsbury, Connecticut, United States
Died: October 4, 1946
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 13 Joseph Banks

Joseph Banks.
6
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: February 24, 1743
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London
Died: June 19, 1820

 14 David Bellamy

David Bellamy
11
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: January 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England, UK
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 15 Nikolai Vavilov

Nikolai Vavilov
6
Famous As: botanist, biologist, explorer, geneticist, geographer
Birthdate: November 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: January 26, 1943

 16 Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll
8
Famous As: Horticulturist, Painter, Gardener, Non-fiction writer, Botanist, Architect
Birthdate: November 29, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: December 8, 1932

 17 Robert Brown

Robert Brown.
6
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: December 21, 1773
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Montrose, Scotland
Died: June 10, 1858

 18 Matthias Jakob Schleiden

Matthias Jakob Schleiden
6
Famous As: Biologist, Botanist, Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: April 5, 1804
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamburg
Died: June 23, 1881
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 19 Jan Ingenhousz

Jan Ingenhousz
6
Famous As: Botanist, Physician, Physicist
Birthdate: December 8, 1730
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Breda
Died: September 7, 1799

 20 Luther Burbank

Luther Burbank
6
Famous As: Horticulturist, Geneticist, Botanist, Gardener, Academic, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: March 7, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Rosa
Died: April 11, 1926

Luther Burbank was an American horticulturist and botanist. A pioneer in agricultural science, Luther Burbank developed over 800 varieties of plants and strains in an illustrious career that spanned 55 years. He is also credited with developing a spineless cactus that served as cattle feed. In 1986, Luther Burbank was made an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

 21 Patrick Geddes

Patrick Geddes
6
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: October 2, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: April 17, 1932

 22 Gerard Kuiper

Gerard Kuiper
4
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: December 7, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tuitjenhorn, Netherlands
Died: December 24, 1973

Gerard Kuiper was blessed with an unusually sharp eyesight and could see stars clearly with the naked eye. The Dutch-born scientist later moved to the U.S., where he established the University of Arizona’s LPL. He also initiated research on the belt of comets surrounding the Sun, known as the Kuiper belt.

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 23 David Starr Jordan

David Starr Jordan
6
Famous As: Botanist, Peace activist, Zoologist, Autobiographer, Ichthyologist
Birthdate: January 19, 1851
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gainesville (village), New York
Died: September 19, 1931

Remembered as the first president of the Leland Stanford Junior University, now known as Stanford University, David Starr Jordan was a reputed ichthyologist. An anti-war activist, too, who opposed America’s participation in World War I, he spent his later years as the chief director of the World Peace Foundation.

 24 Joseph Dalton Hooker

Joseph Dalton Hooker
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: June 30, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Halesworth, Suffolk, England
Died: December 10, 1911
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 25 Eva Ekeblad

Eva Ekeblad
6
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: July 10, 1724
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: May 15, 1786

 26 Ynes Mexia

Ynes Mexia
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: May 24, 1870
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: July 12, 1938
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 27 Anna Atkins

Anna Atkins
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD

 28 Janaki Ammal

Janaki Ammal.
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: 1897 AD
Birthplace: Thalassery
Died: 1984 AD

Janaki Ammal was an Indian botanist whose work concerning phytogeography, cytogenetics, and plant breeding earned her India's fourth-highest honor, the Padma Shri, in 1977. She is credited with improving India’s indigenous sugarcane varieties. She also helped analyze sugarcane's geographical distribution across India.

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 29 Hugo de Vries

Hugo de Vries
5
Famous As: Botanist, Biologist, Geneticist, University teacher
Birthdate: February 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem
Died: May 21, 1935

 30 Martinus Beijerinck

Martinus Beijerinck
3
Famous As: Microbiologist
Birthdate: March 16, 1851
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died: January 1, 1931
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 31 Birbal Sahni

Birbal Sahni.
5
Famous As: Palaeobotanist
Birthdate: 1891 AD
Birthplace: Saharanpur district
Died: April 10, 1949

Birbal Sahni was a pioneer of palaeobotanical research in India. The founder of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, he also taught botany at BHU and Lucknow University. He was also interested in music and tennis, and loved collecting coins. He was a Fellow of The Royal Society, too.

 32 Dmitri Ivanovsky

Dmitri Ivanovsky
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: October 28, 1864
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gdov, Russia
Died: June 20, 1920
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 33 Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin.
4
Famous As: Naturalist
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Mount House, Shrewsbury, England
Died: April 19, 1882

Widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the history of mankind, Charles Darwin was an English biologist, naturalist, and geologist. He is credited with publishing the Theory of Evolution, which explains the evolution of life from a unicellular organism to human beings. A prolific writer, Charles Darwin also wrote important books on plants and barnacles.

 34 Asa Gray

Asa Gray
5
Famous As: Curator, Botanist, University teacher
Birthdate: November 18, 1810
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris
Died: January 30, 1888

 35 Joel Roberts Poinsett

Joel Roberts Poinsett
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 2, 1779
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Died: December 12, 1851

 36 Conrad Gessner

Conrad Gessner
5
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 26, 1516
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: December 13, 1565

 37 Joseph Banks Rhine

Joseph Banks Rhine
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: September 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 20, 1980

 38 Philipp Franz von Siebold

Philipp Franz von Siebold
5
Famous As: Botanist, Carcinologist
Birthdate: February 17, 1796
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Würzburg
Died: October 18, 1866

 39 Peter Simon Pallas

Peter Simon Pallas
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: September 22, 1741
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 8, 1811

 40 James Bruce

James Bruce
5
Famous As: Explorer, Archaeologist, Film editor, Botanist
Birthdate: December 14, 1730
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Stirling
Died: April 27, 1794

 41 Georg Wilhelm Steller

Georg Wilhelm Steller
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: March 10, 1709
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bad Windsheim, Germany
Died: November 14, 1746

German-born zoologist and botanist Georg Wilhelm Steller traveled to Russia on a troop ship. He was later part of the Great Northern Expedition, aboard the St. Peter, aimed at locating a sea route from Russia to North America. The Steller’s sea cow, discovered by him, went extinct later.

 42 Francis Darwin

Francis Darwin
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: August 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kent
Died: September 19, 1925

 43 Stephen Hales

Stephen Hales
5
Famous As: Botanist, Physicist, Chemist
Birthdate: September 17, 1677
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kent
Died: January 4, 1761

Apart from being a scientist, Stephen Hales was also a clergyman. He went down in history as the first person to quantitatively measure human blood pressure and also discovered transpiration in plants. He also invented surgical and other medical devices. He devoted himself to charitable causes following his wife’s death.

 44 Herman Boerhaave

Herman Boerhaave
5
Famous As: Philosopher, Botanist, Physician, Anatomist, University teacher, Chemist, Entomologist
Birthdate: December 31, 1668
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leiden
Died: September 23, 1738

 45 Pierre-Joseph Redouté

Pierre-Joseph Redouté
3
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 10, 1759
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Hubert, Belgium
Died: June 19, 1840

 46 David Douglas

David Douglas
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: June 25, 1799
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Scone, Perthshire, Scotland
Died: July 12, 1834

 47 John Gerard

John Gerard
3
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: 1545 AD
Birthplace: Nantwich, Cheshire, England
Died: January 31, 1612

 48 Lester Frank Ward

Lester Frank Ward
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: June 18, 1841
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, United States
Died: April 18, 1913

 49 David Fairchild

David Fairchild
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: April 7, 1869
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lansing, Michigan, United States
Died: August 6, 1954

 50 Augustin Pyrame de Candolle

Augustin Pyrame de Candolle
5
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: February 4, 1778
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: September 9, 1841
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