Charles Elton (1900-1991), a British ecologist who was among the first to use a scientific method to study animals in their natural habitats and their interrelationships with their surroundings. Elton is considered one of the founders of ecology, and his work, Animal Ecology (1927), was one of the seminal works that defined the field. In Animal Ecology, Elton introduced and described many principles still central to ecology today, including succession, niches, food webs, and the links between communities and ecosystems. The roots of ecological energetics can be found in his 'pyramid of numbers', a method of representing the structure of an ecosystem in terms of feeding relationships.
- Western Kentucky University. Charles Sutherland Elton - Chrono-Biographical Sketch.