Search the Collection

Sir Arthur George Tansley (1871-1955), Plant ecologist

Sitter in 2 portraits
Tansley was an influential figure in the development of botany and ecology in Britain in the twentieth century. In 1904, he was at the centre of a committee of British botanists formed to further the description of British plant communities, which became the British Ecological Society in 1913 (he was its first president). He subsequently wrote several influential books on plant ecology, including Practical Plant Ecology (1923). In 1927 Tansley was appointed Sherardian professor of botany at Oxford and in 1941 his celebrated book, The British Islands and their Vegetation secured him the gold medal of the Linnean Society. He served as the first chairman of the Nature Conservancy from 1949 to 1953.

List Thumbnail


Sir Arthur George Tansley

by Wilfrid Gabriel de Glehn
oil on canvas, 1940
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6737


Frederick Frost Blackman; Sir Arthur George Tansley

by Denis Gascoigne Lillie
pencil and watercolour, 1908
NPG D11156