E. Yale Dawson

Elmer Yale Dawson (March 31, 1918 – June 22, 1966) was an American botanist.

E. Yale Dawson
BornMarch 31, 1918
DiedJune 22, 1966(1966-06-22) (aged 48)
EducationUniversity of California
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Southern California
San Diego Natural History Museum
Americas for the Charles Darwin Foundation


Dawson was born in on March 31, 1918 in Creston, Iowa to Elmer Clarence Dawson and Mabelle Davidson Campbell.

In 1940 he received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and in 1942 his Ph.D. from the same institution. After serving in the United States Army, he became a research associate for the Allan Hancock Foundation, a division of University of Southern California for 10 years, 1945 to 1955. He was appointed professor of biology at USC in 1956, a position that he held till 1964. From 1958 to 1962 he worked as research director of the Beaudette Foundation, a division of Biological research. He was director of the San Diego Natural History Museum from 1963 to 1966;[1] in 1964, he became secretary of the Charles Darwin Foundation, located on the Galápagos Islands.

He drowned on June 22, 1966, while diving for seaweed in the Red Sea near Hurghada.[1]


He devoted his life to a study of benthic marine algae, particularly Rhodophyta that grow in tropical and subtropical Pacific. He published books about algae, cacti, and succulents.[2]


  1. Engstrand, Iris; Bullard, Anne (1999). Inspired by Nature:The San Diego Natural History Museum After 125 Years. San Diego Natural History Museum. p. 152–153. ISBN 0918969042.
  2. "Biography". Smithsonian Institution Archives. 1934–1966. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  3. IPNI.  E.Y.Dawson.
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