Jean Massart

Jean Massart

Jean Massart (1865-1925), doctor in sciences and doctor in medicine, was assistant and professor in botany at the University of Brussels. He shortly combined this position with the curatorship (1902-1906) of the open air collections of the Jardin botanique de l'Etat. His scientific orientation towards experimental research had a strong influence on the open air displays at the Garden, where he designed new ethological and phylogenetic collections, which disappeared after the transfer of the Garden from Brussels to Meise. The enlargement of his University mission after the death of Léo Errera obliged him to resign from the Garden.

He had a profound influence on botany and nature conservation in Belgium, amongst other things by producing the first phytogeographical synthesis for the country (Esquisse de la géographie botanique de la Belgique). His name is commemorated in a street in Koksijde - village at the Belgian coast where he organised a local laboratory and conducted field work for many years. Above all the "Experimental Garden Jean Massart" of the Université Libre de Bruxelles perpetuates his experimental approach of botany and scientific education.

The Jean Massart Botanical Garden

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