Erling Christophersen

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Erling Christophersen (April 17, 1898 – November 9, 1994) was a Norwegian botanist, geographer and diplomat. He participated in and led several notable scientific expeditions in the 20th century, including the fifth Tanager Expedition (1924) to Nihoa and Necker Island and the Norwegian Scientific Expedition to Tristan da Cunha (1937–1938).

Early life[edit]

Christophersen was born in Christiania, Norway (now known as Oslo) in 1898. He attended the University of Christiania from 1918–1921, and received his Ph.D from Yale University in 1924.[1] Christophersen's dissertation, "Soil reaction and plant distribution in the Sylene National Park, Norway", focused on the art and science of applied forest ecology, or silviculture, of alpine plants in Norway.[2]


Christophersen was a professor of botany at the University of Hawaii from 1929-1932. He was instrumental in developing and leading the scientific expedition to Tristan da Cunha from 1937-1938. His book, Tristan da Cunha, the lonely island (1938), is an account of the expedition.[1]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Christophersen, Erling (1925). "Soil Reaction and Plant Distribution in the Sylene National Park, Norway". 27. Trans. Conn. Acad. Sci: 471–577.
  • Christophersen, Erling; Caum, Edward L. (1931-07-01). Vascular plants of the Leeward Islands, Hawaii. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin No. 81; Tanager Expedition Publication No. 7. Honolulu, Hawaiʻi: Bishop Museum Press.
  • "Vascular plants of Johnston and Wake Islands" (1931)
  • "Plants of Gough Islands" (1934)
  • "Flowering plants of Samoa" (1935)
  • Tristan da Cunha, the Lonely Isle (1938)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jørgensen, Per Magnus (2000–2009). "Erling Christophersen". Norsk biografisk leksikon, Store Norske Leksikon. Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget.
  2. ^ Kelley, Arthur P. (1926). "Soil Reaction in Relation to Alpine Plants". Ecology. Ecological Society of America. 7 (3): 385–388. doi:10.2307/1929324. JSTOR 1929324. See also: "Yale Silviculture Lab: Publications". Yale University.
  3. ^ IPNI.  Christoph.

Further reading[edit]

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