Peter J. Grubb

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Peter John Grubb (born 9 August 1935 [1] in Ilford, London) is a British ecologist and emeritus professor of botany at Cambridge University. He took his Ph.D. at Cambridge University in 1960 supervised by G.E. Briggs. He subsequently joined the staff of Magdalene College, later becoming a full professor (retired in 2001). His early work was mentored by E.J.H. Corner and A.S. Watt, and especially influenced by the latter. He has written a very lively account on his becoming a plant ecologist. [2]

Ilford district in east London, England

Ilford is a district and large town in east London, located 9.1 miles (14.6 km) east of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Redbridge. Ilford is also identified as a major centre in the London Plan. Although Ilford is in the London Borough of Redbridge, a part is also in the London Borough of Newham.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Botany science of plant life

Botany, also called plant science(s), plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek word βοτάνη (botanē) meaning "pasture", "grass", or "fodder"; βοτάνη is in turn derived from βόσκειν (boskein), "to feed" or "to graze". Traditionally, botany has also included the study of fungi and algae by mycologists and phycologists respectively, with the study of these three groups of organisms remaining within the sphere of interest of the International Botanical Congress. Nowadays, botanists study approximately 410,000 species of land plants of which some 391,000 species are vascular plants, and approximately 20,000 are bryophytes.

Grubb has worked on diverse botanical and ecological subjects, from physiology to biomes and from chalk grassland to tropical rain forest. His name is particularly associated with the concept of regeneration niche. [3]

Physiology science of the function of living systems

Physiology is the scientific study of the functions and mechanisms which work within a living system.

Biome Distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate

A biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. "Biome" is a broader term than "habitat"; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats.

Ecological niche The fit of a species living under specific environmental conditions.

In ecology, a niche is the match of a species to a specific environmental condition. It describes how an organism or population responds to the distribution of resources and competitors and how it in turn alters those same factors. "The type and number of variables comprising the dimensions of an environmental niche vary from one species to another [and] the relative importance of particular environmental variables for a species may vary according to the geographic and biotic contexts".

Peter Grubb was president of the British Ecological Society in 1992 and is now honorary member of the society. He co-edited the Journal of Ecology 1972–1977.

The British Ecological Society is a learned society in the field of ecology that was founded in 1913. It is the oldest ecological society in the world. The Society's original objective was "to promote and foster the study of Ecology in its widest sense" and this remains the central theme guiding its activities today. The Society has almost 5000 members of which 14% are students. It has always had an international membership and currently 42% are outside the United Kingdom, in a total of 92 countries. The head office is located Charles Darwin House in London, alongside a wide range of other biology organisations.

The Journal of Ecology is a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering all aspects of the ecology of plants. It was established in 1913 and is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the British Ecological Society.

In 1977 botanist Francis Raymond Fosberg named the Portulaca variety Portulaca mauritiensis var. grubbii from Cosmoledo after Grubb [4] which is now included in Portulaca mauritiensis var. aldabrensis. [5]

Francis Raymond "Ray" Fosberg was an American botanist. A prolific collector and author, he played a significant role in the development of coral reef and island studies.

<i>Portulaca</i> genus of plants

Portulaca is the type genus of the flowering plant family Portulacaceae, comprising about 40-100 species found in the tropics and warm temperate regions. They are also known as purslanes.

Cosmoledo atoll

Cosmoledo Atoll is an atoll of the Aldabra Group and belongs to the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, and is located 1,029 km (639 mi) southwest of the capital, Victoria, on Mahé Island.

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Ecology Scientific study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment

Ecology is the branch of biology which studies the interactions among organisms and their environment. Objects of study include interactions of organisms that include biotic and abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution, biomass, and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits. Biodiversity means the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.

Arthur Tansley British botanist (1871–1955)

Sir Arthur George Tansley FLS, FRS was an English botanist and a pioneer in the science of ecology.

Evolutionary ecology Study of how interactions among species and between species and their environment affect species through selection and adaptation

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Ecology is a new science and considered as an important branch of biological science, having only become prominent during the second half of the 20th century. Ecological thought is derivative of established currents in philosophy, particularly from ethics and politics. Its history stems all the way back to the 4th century. One of the first ecologists whose writings survive may have been Aristotle or perhaps his student, Theophrastus, both of whom had interest in many species of animals and plants. Theophrastus described interrelationships between animals and their environment as early as the 4th century BC. Ecology developed substantially in the 18th and 19th century. It began with Carl Linnaeus and his work with the economy of nature. Soon after came Alexander von Humboldt and his work with botanical geography. Alfred Russel Wallace and Karl Möbius then contributed with the notion of biocoenosis. Eugenius Warming’s work with ecological plant geography led to the founding of ecology as a discipline. Charles Darwin’s work also contributed to the science of ecology, and Darwin is often attributed with progressing the discipline more than anyone else in its young history. Ecological thought expanded even more in the early 20th century. Major contributions included: Eduard Suess’ and Vladimir Vernadsky’s work with the biosphere, Arthur Tansley’s ecosystem, Charles Elton's Animal Ecology, and Henry Cowles ecological succession. Ecology influenced the social sciences and humanities. Human ecology began in the early 20th century and it recognized humans as an ecological factor. Later James Lovelock advanced views on earth as a macro-organism with the Gaia hypothesis. Conservation stemmed from the science of ecology. Important figures and movements include Shelford and the ESA, National Environmental Policy act, George Perkins Marsh, Theodore Roosevelt, Stephen A. Forbes, and post-Dust Bowl conservation. Later in the 20th century world governments collaborated on man’s effects on the biosphere and Earth’s environment.

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  1. GRUBB, Prof. Peter John, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014
  2. Grubb, P.J. (2003). "On becoming a plant ecologist". Seed Science Research. 13: 3–15. doi:10.1079/SSR2002120.
  3. Grubb, P.J. (1977). "The maintenance of species-richness in plant communities: the importance of the regeneration niche". Biological Reviews. 52: 107–145. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185x.1977.tb01347.x.
  4. F. R. Fosberg: Miscellaneous Notes on the Flora of Aldabra and Neighbouring Islands: VI: Portulaca (Portulacaceae) in the Aldabra Group. Kew Bulletin, Vol. 32, No. 1 (1977), pp. 253-258
  5. Urs Eggli: Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Dicotyledons, Springer, 2002. ISBN   978-3540419662: p. 413