A. LeRoy Andrews

(1878 - 1961)

Albert LeRoy Andrews had a long and prestigeous career studying Germanic languages and philology.  At the same time, Andrews avocationally pursued his interests in bryophytes.  His lifelong endeavors with mosses and liverworts would earn him a reputation as one of the world's foremost bryologists.

A. LeRoy Andrews was born on December 27, 1878 in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  He grew up in Williamstown, but lack of a good botany program at nearby Williams College led Andrews to study languages there.  He graduated from Williams in 1899 and received his M.A. from Williams in 1902.  Following graduate study in German at Harvard University, and brief teaching posts at West Virginia University and Darmouth College, Andrews studied at Berlin, Kiel, Oslo, and Copenhagen, receiving his Ph.D. from Kiel in 1908.  It was then that Andrews joined the German Department at Cornell University to teach German and Scandinavian languages.  He became Assistant Professor in 1919, Professor in 1931, and Professor Emeritus in 1946.

Though his primary career followed the path of Germanic languages, Andrews also distinquished himself in bryology.  Wherever his German travels took him, he also studied the region's bryology.  His publications in Germanic studies were paralleled by a similar number of bryological works.  He wrote a monograph of Sphagnum for North American Flora as well as many other articles on mosses.  His reputation as a Sphagnum expert was a result of his meticulous and thorough studies.  

The years of cooperation between Andrews and the Department of Botany at Cornell benefited them both.  Andrews volunteered his time and expertise to identify mosses, lead student field trips, and assemble a bryophyte collection in the Wiegand Herbarium.  In 1953, Andrews was appointed Honorary Curator of the bryophyte collection, and he continued to work on bryophytes until his death in 1961.  His treatise on The Bryophyte Flora of the Upper Cayuga Lake Basin, New York (Cornell Univ. Agr. Exper. Sta. Memoir 352, publ. Dec. 1957) has become a classic.

For futher information please see:

Cornell University Faculty.  1961.  Albert LeRoy Andrews, Necrology of the faculty of Cornell University.

Steere, William Campbell.  1962.  Albert LeRoy Andrews, 1878-1961, The Bryologist, Vol. 65, No. 1.


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