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Lloyd Ackert

Lloyd Ackert, PhD

Teaching Professor of History
Department of History
Center for Science, Technology and Society
Office: 5011 MacAlister
Phone: 215.895.0993


  • BA, Interdisciplinary Major in History of Science, Evolutionary Biology, and Russian Language and Areas Studies, 1997 
  • PhD, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, 2004

Curriculum Vitae:

Download (PDF)

Research Interests:

  • History of science & technology
  • Ecology
  • Russian science


I am currently writing "The 'Cycle of Life': A History of Experimental Holism," in which I trace how a series of scientists developed laboratory-based methods to investigate a holistic vision of nature known as the "cycle of life." Here I survey late-18th to mid-20th century sciences as varied as biogeography, organic chemistry, plant physiology, microbiology, soil science, and ecosystem ecology.

Selected Publications:

  • "The 'Cycle of Life' in Ecology: Sergei Vinogradskii’s Soil Microbiology, 1885-1940,” Journal of the History of Biology, Volume 40, No. 1, March 2007, 109-145.
  • w/ Benno Warkentin, “Introduction,” Footsteps in the Soil: People and Ideas in Soil History (Elsevier, 2006), ed. Benno Warkentin.
  • "The Role of Microbes in Agriculture: Sergei Vinogradskii's Discovery and Investigation of Chemosynthesis, 1880-1910," Journal of the History of Biology, Volume 39, 2006, No. 2.
  • “Sergei Nikolaevich Vinogradskii’s Ecological Approach to Soil Microbiology, 1920-1940”), in Evolutionary Biology: History and Theory (St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Institute of History RAS, Nestor-History Press, Russia, 2005), Vol. 3, eds. Yasha Gall and Eduard Kolchinskii, 160-175 (In Russian).