Forbes, Stephen Alfred

Forbes, Stephen Alfred

(1844–1930) naturalist; born in Silver Creek, Ill. A farmer's son, he served in an Illinois cavalry regiment during the Civil War, then attended medical school and had nearly finished when he dropped out to study natural history. His research specialty, the food of birds and fish, gave him a broad perspective on biological interrelationships; he is credited with being one of the founders of the discipline of ecology. He worked for Illinois state institutions for most of his career, and was state entomologist from 1882–1917.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.