Kearney, Thomas H. (Thomas Henry), 1874-1956

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Biographical History

Kearney was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1874, and educated at University of Tennessee and at Columbia University. He worked for the USDA Bureau of Plant Industry for majority of his career and is known for his botanical survey of Dismal Swamp, Virginia of 1898; his research on growth on alkali soils in the southeastern United States; his research on cotton and other members of the Malvaceae family in Egypt and in the southwestern United States. By 1901, he had published names for more than 40 new plant taxa, and between 1890-1901, he collected thousands of plant specimens throughout the United States. Kearney collected botanical specimens with Frederick Coville in Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming, Alaska from April 28, 1898-August 6, 1899 and along the Northwest Coast from Puget Sound to Bering Strait in 1899 as a member of the Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899. Throughout the course of more than forty years with the Bureau of Plant Industry, he held the titles of assistant physiologist, physiologist, senior physiologist and principal physiologist. After his retirement from government service in 1944, Kearney joined the California Academy of Sciences. He worked there as honorary assistant curator for twelve years where he continued his research until his death in 1956.


  • Miller, Robert C. (1957). Robert C. Miller, Taxon, 6(1), 31.
  • Wentz, W. Alan. (1974). The Herbarium and Type Specimens of Thomas Henry Kearney, Jr. from 1890-1901, Taxon, 23(2/3), 357:

Related entities

United States Dept. of Agriculture: He worked for the US Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Plant Industry.

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