Philip Jackson Darlington, Jr. (1904-1983)
Philip Darlington became one of the twentieth century's best known zoogeographers after initially forging a solid career as a specimen collector and taxonomist. His early field studies, focusing on insects (especially carabid beetles) took him to several tropical and subtropical environs, notably Colombia, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba and New Guinea, but he also traveled to Australia and in later years, Tierra del Fuego. His detailed research in descriptive biology naturally led him to an involvement with biogeography, and the publication of two very well known titles on that subject: Zoogeography: The Geographical Distribution of Animals (1957), and Biogeography of the Southern End of the World (1965), as well as numerous shorter works. Heavily influenced by the writings of Alfred Russel Wallace and the dispersal-dominated ideas of George Gaylord Simpson, he took a dim view of the notion of continental drift until evidence emerging from the new plate tectonics-based theories of the 1960s changed his mind. Darlington was also a significant figure as an evolutionary biologist, conducting important studies on mimicry in beetles, flightlessness in island insects, and the Old World origins of vertebrate groups.
born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 14 November 1904.
1924, 1926, 1928: field expeditions to locations in the West Indies
1926: B.A., Harvard University
1927: M.S., Harvard
1928-1929: entomological field study in Santa Marta, Colombia
1931: completes Ph.D. at Harvard
1931-1933: travels to Australia to study mammals
1932-1940: assistant curator of insects, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard
Frank Carpenter wrote an obituary.