Áskell Löve

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Áskell Löve
Born (1916-10-20)20 October 1916
Reykjavík, Iceland
Died 29 May 1994(1994-05-29) (aged 77)
Nationality Icelandic
Alma mater Lund University
Known for use of chromosome numbers in plant systematics
Awards Guggenheim fellow in 1963
Scientific career
Fields Plant evolution
Institutions University of Iceland, University of Manitoba, Université de Montréal and University of Colorado at Boulder

Áskell Löve (20 October 1916 – 29 May 1994 in Reykjavík) was an Icelandic systematic botanist, particularly active in the Arctic.


Löve studied botany at Lund University, Sweden, from 1937. He received his PhD in 1942 in botany and a D.Sc. degree in genetics the year after. From 1941-1945, he was a research associate at Lund University and a corresponding geneticist at the University of Iceland.


In 1945, where he served as director of Institute of Botany and Plant Breeding at the University of Iceland 1945-1951. Then, the family moved to North America, where Löve became associate professor of botany at the University of Manitoba, Canada. In 1956, he became Professeur de Recherches at Université de Montréal and, in 1964 professor of biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which he remained until 1974.

Löve was awarded a Guggenheim fellow in 1963[1] and elected member of the Icelandic Academy of Sciences. He was a co-founder of the Flora Europaea-project. He retained his Icelandic citizenship to his death.

Löve was particularly interested in the chromosome numbers of plants. He published numerous accounts in this field,[2][3][4][5][6][7] including editing more than hundred chromosome number reports published in the scientific journal Taxon between 1964 and 1988.[8] He made a major contribution to the evolution and taxonomy of the wheat-relatives in the Triticeae.[9]

Löve also wrote papers about plant evolution from a more theoretical angle, e.g. the still cited The biological species concept and its evolutionary structure.[10]

He wrote some floras on Icelandic plants, including Íslenzk Ferðaflóra (1970, 2nd. ed. 1975), illustrated by Dagny Tande Lid.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Löve married his fellow student and colleague Doris Löve née Wahlén. Together, they moved back to Iceland in 1945.


  1. ^ List of Guggenheim Fellows
  2. ^ Löve, Á.; Löve, D. (1956). "Cytotaxonomical conspectus of the Icelandic flora". Acta Horti Gotoburgensis. 20 (4): 65–290. 
  3. ^ Löve, Á.; Löve, D. (1961). Chromosome numbers of central and northwest European plant species. Opera Botanica vol. 5. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell. pp. 1–581. 
  4. ^ Löve, Á.; Löve, D. (1966). Cytotaxonomy of the alpine vascular plants of Mount Washington. University of Colorado Studies. Series of Biology No. 24. Boulder: University of Colorado. pp. 1–75. 
  5. ^ Löve, Á.; Löve, D. (1974). Cytotaxonomical atlas of the Slovenian flora. Cytotaxonomical Atlases vol. 1. Vaduz: J. Cramer. p. 1241. 
  6. ^ Löve, Á.; Löve, D. (1975). Cytotaxonomical atlas of the Arctic flora. Cytotaxonomical Atlases vol. 2. Vaduz: J. Cramer. p. 598. 
  7. ^ Löve, Á.; Löve, D.; Pichi-Sermolli, R. E. G. (1977). Cytotaxonomical atlas of the Pteridophyta. Cytotaxonomical Atlases vol. 3. Vaduz: J. Cramer. p. 398. 
  8. ^ Weber, W.A. (1994). "Áskell Löve (1916-1994) In Memoriam". Arctic and Alpine Research. 26 (3): 313–314. JSTOR 1551945. 
  9. ^ Löve, Á. (1984). "Conspectus of the Triticeae". Feddes Repertorium. 95: 425–521. doi:10.1002/fedr.4910950702. 
  10. ^ Löve, Á. (1964). "The biological species concept and its evolutionary structure". Taxon. 13 (2): 33–45. JSTOR 1216308. 
  11. ^ Löve, Á. (1970). Íslenzk Ferðaflóra [Icelandic Excursion Flora, Drawings by Dagny Tande Lid] (in Icelandic). Reykjavík: Almenna Bókfélagið. 
  12. ^ IPNI.  Á.Löve.