Ernst Mayr

Avian systematist whose Systematics and the Origin of Species (1940) was one of the five great expositions of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis (the others being by Dobzhansky, Huxley, Simpson, and Stebbins). His Animal Species and Evolution (1963) was influential in arguing the case for the central importance of allopatric mechanisms of speciation. Theodosius Dobzhansky, George Gaylord Simpson and he were the chief propounders of the biological species concept and Mayr and Simpson were the leaders of the "evolutionary systematics" school of classification.

He had what may delicately be called a "dialectical" relationship with theoretical population geneticists, but ultimately conceded that theoreticians did make a major contribution to the founding of the Neodarwinian Synthesis. He died in February 2005 at the age of 100.

His biography at the unofficial Stephen Jay Gould pages (a bit punctuational in emphasis)

A story about him in the San Francisco Chronicle

His entry in the Wikipedia

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