Biography of Asa Gray (1810-1888)

Botanist and American taxonomist who helped popularize the study of Botany and expose, although with some criticism, theories of the evolution of Darwin. In 1842 he was appointed Professor of natural history at Harvard University, founding the Herbarium that bears his name and a library. He was one of the first members of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 1872 he was elected President of the American Association for the advancement of science. In 1859 he published a report about the relationship between the floras of Japan and North America, one of the first works about the discontinuous distribution of plants. His Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States, whose first edition was published in 1848, was probably the work that most lasted, although their Statistics of the Flora of the Northern United States (1856-7) which established his reputation. He collaborated with John Torrey to prepare the two volumes of the Flora of North America (1838-1843) and published the Synoptical Flora in 1878.