Clements, Frederick Edward

Clements, Frederick Edward

(1874–1945) botanist, ecologist; born in Lincoln, Nebr. He graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1894, took a Ph.D. there in 1898, and stayed on to teach botany until 1907, when he left for the University of Minnesota. He gave up teaching in 1917 to concentrate on research, working at Carnegie Institution laboratories in Arizona, California, and Colorado. He was one of the first to emphasize the scientific importance of the study of life and the environment—ecology. His best-known work, Plant Succession: An Analysis of the Development of Vegetation, appeared in 1916. During the 1930s he worked as a consultant on projects to restore the U.S. western grasslands damaged by prolonged drought.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.