Johan Erik Vesti Boas (1855-1935)

Professor of zoology at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural College 1903-27, MSc natural history 1878, associate professor at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural College 1883-1903, specialist in crayfish.

J.E.V. Boas’s phylogenetic work on decapods Studier over Decapodernes Slægtskabsforhold [Studies of the Kinship Relations of Decapods] (Copenhagen, 1880) was the first major scientific work based on evolutionary principles in Denmark. Boas wrote the widely used university and college textbook in zoology Lærebog i Zoologien nærmest til Brug for Studerende og Lærere [Textbook of Zoology for Students and Teachers] (Copenhagen, P.G. Philipsens Forlag, 1888), which was the first Danish textbook based on evolutionary principles and remained in use until after World War II. It was translated to English, Polish and German. He also wrote the popular textbook Lærebog i Dyrerigets Naturhistorie [Textbook of the Natural History of the Animal Kingdom] (Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1892) for secondary schools. Through these works Boas disseminated Darwinism to several generations of students.      

Hans Henrik Hjermitslev

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