Ernst Mayr Facts

Ernst Mayr Facts
Ernst Walter Mayr ( July 5, 1904 to February 3, 2005) was a taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, and a leading evolutionary biologist.
Interesting Ernst Mayr Facts:
Ernst Mayr's father, Otto, was a prosecuting attorney in Wurzburg but he had a keen interest in natural history and took his sons on many field trips.
When Mayr was 13 his father died and the family moved to Dresden.
While still a high school student he joined the Saxony Ornithologists' Association.
In February 1923 he graduated high school at the Staatsgymnasium in Dresden.
On March 23, 1923 he spotted a Red-crested Pochard.
Since this species had not been seen in Saxony over 70 years, he had to pass a rigorous examination before the sighting would be accepted.
Mayr so impressed the interrogator, Edwin Stresemann, that he was offered a volunteer post in the ornithology section of the museum.
Mayr entered the University of Greifswald in 1923 to study medicine but changed his major to biology after only one year.
On June 24, 1926 he received a PhD from the University of Berin and was offered a position at the Berlin Museum.
In 1927 the American banker and naturalist,Walter Rothschild asked Mayr to lead an expedition to New Guinea on behalf of the American Museum of Natural History.
While in New Guinea he named several new species of birds and 38 new species of orchids.
In 1931 he accepted the position of curator at the American Museum of Natural History where he mentored American bird watchers and organized a monthly seminar on ornithology.
In 1953 he joined the faculty at Harvard University and served as the director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology from 1961 to 1970.
He was a prolific writer and published more than 200 articles and 65 books.
He received many prestigious awards for his work including the National Medal of Science, the Sarton Medal, the International Prize for Biology, and in 1995 he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences and the Crafoord Prize for basic research.
He died at the age of 101 and was still writing articles in his 100th year.

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