August 2022
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Douglas Melin

Paullinia sp.

Paullinia sp.

Douglas Melin (1895-1946) was only 17 years old when he jumped 3.02 in Men’s Standing Long Jump at the Stockholm Summer Olympics in 1912. This only gave him a shared 14th place (the winner, Konstantinos Tsiklitiras from Greece, jumped 3.37; Tsiklitiras died the year after in the Balkan Wars). His later career was not as athlete, but as entomologist (at Uppsala University), “anti-natural-selectionist” and, briefly, explorer. As explorer he travelled to the Amazonian region in a small but very ambitious expedition (“Swedish Amazonas Expedition”) from 1923 to 1925, together with a few friends. This expedition resulted in one dead friend, two books, a few overlooked papers, and, of course, collections of insects and plants (and other naturalia?). Here at the Herbarium we have more than 60 plants collected by Melin during his expedition, of which many (but not this one) are types for new taxa. Until today not much more is known about Douglas Melin. (Many thanks to Lennart Olsson, Jena, who provided me with some valuable information on Douglas Melin!)

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