Christen Christiansen Raunkiær (1860-1938)

Professor of botany 1911-38, Student at Østbæk and Skovgaard Folk High Schools in the 1870s, MA botany 1885, teacher at the State College of Education 1900-1908, associate professor of botany 1908-10.

In his botanical work Christen Raunkiær combined insights from his colleagues, the ecologist Eugen Warming and the geneticist Wilhelm Johannsen. His scientific work thus combined the theory of life forms of plants developed in ecology with statistical methods drawn form studies of heredity. This resulted in pioneering work on quantitative methods in botanical ecology. A collection of his studies was translated into English as The Life Forms of Plants, and Statistical Plant Geography (1934). In contrast to Warming and Johannsen, Raunkiær did not spend time on popularising his scientific insights and he did not engage in the popular Darwinian debates. However, in his scientific work, for example De Danske Blomsterplanters Naturhistorie [The Natural History of Danish Flowers] (Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1895-99), he defended Lamarckian evolutionism like Warming.

Hans Henrik Hjermitslev

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