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Castellarnau Lleopart, Joaquim Maria de

Tarragona 1848 - Segovia 1943. Forest Engineer

He undertook various studies of the cells of different types of wood and established new analytical procedures to determine a species through studying its wood. He published various studies on the topic which were considered innovative writings in the area of vegetal histology, something for which he was recognised by the Nobel prize winner Ramón y Cajal. 

Castellarnau i De Lleopart finished his studies in 1870 and worked in various areas of forest, including that of Segovia, before working in the service of the Spanish crown managing its forested land (Royal Patrimony of San Ildefonso, 1876-1883). Here he developed an interest in the research of natural sciences, which he had already taken an interest in when he bought his first microscope on Las Ramblas of Barcelona in 1875.
It was during his time in Segovia when he met several important naturalists such as Laureano Pérez Arcas and Máximo Laguna y Villanueva, a forest engineer considered the father of Spanish forest botany in the words of Erich Bauer Manderscheid. From then on, he developed his vocation, more naturalist and less technical, which led him to resign from the team that managed the forest of Pinar de Valsaín due to discrepancies in the way they handled its exploitation. In this period he negotiated personally with Kind Alfons XII.
In 1876 he enrolled in the Spanish Society of Natural History and in the following year published an extensive piece of work on the birds of the Guadarrama mountain range, where, as well as cataloguing existing species he also created a description of ecological characteristics. He was appointed president of honour in 1934.
From 1880 onwards, he carried out his most important task related to the histology of forest species, participating in the Universal Exposition of Barcelona of 1888 with more than 200 preparations, where he received a gold medal. In 1913 he entered the Royal Academy of Sciences with a speech on the morphology of plants according to biogenetic laws. In 1934 the Academy awarded him theEchegaray medal.
He gave many conferences on biology and physics, and most of his research was published in the newsletter of the Spanish Society of Natural History, Forestry Magazine (Revista de Montes), scientific literature and Ibérica etc.

Main works

  • Estudio Ornitológico del Real Sitio de San Ildefonso y sus alrededores seguido del Catálogo Metódico de las aves observadas, 1877. Supplement of the annals of the Spanish Society of Natural History.
  • Estudio micrográfico del tallo del Pinsapo, Madrid: Moreno y Rojas publishing house, 1881.
  • Estudio micrográfico de la madera de las coníferas españolas, y especialmente del género Pinus, 1882. Madrid: Annals of the Spanish Society of Natural History. Volume 12, 1883. p. 131-219.
  • Unidad del plan generativo en el reino vegetal, 1886, Madrid: Annals of the Spanish Society of Natural History. Volume 17, 1888. p. 31-74.
  • El pinar de Balsaín. Algunas consideraciones sobre su tratamiento y administración, Tarragona, 1884.
  • Guía y descripción del Real Sitio de San Ildefonso (amb Breñosa, R.), 1884. Madrid: Successors of Rivadeneyra.
  • Teoría general de la formación de la imagen en el microscopio, Madrid: Eduardo Arias, 1911.
  • La imagen óptica. Telescopio y microscopio, Madrid: Clásica Española publishing house, 1919.
  • ¿Pueden explicarse químicamente los fenómenos sociales de la vida?, Madrid: Talleres Poligráficos, 1922.

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Castellarnau Lleopart, Joaquim Maria de Castellarnau i Lleopart, Joaquim Maria Castellarnau Lleopart, Joaquim Maria de