Errera, Léo

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ERRERA, LÉO (1858–1905), Belgian botanist and Jewish leader. Errera studied in Brussels, Strasbourg, and at the Botanical Institute of Wuerzburg. In 1884 he was appointed lecturer at the University of Brussels (professor, 1895), where he founded the Botanical Institute in 1891. In 1898 he was elected to the Royal Academy of Belgium. Errera's research included discovery of glycogen as the reserve carbohydrate of fungi, studies on the role of alkaloids in plants, and pioneer studies on the physical laws governing the shape of cells. His collected works were published in five volumes between 1908 and 1922. Errera was prominent in local and international Jewish activities. He was connected with the Alliance Israélite Universelle and he participated in many international conferences on Jewish questions. In 1893 he published a pamphlet protesting the persecution of Russian Jews, Les Juifs russes: extermination ou émancipation (English ed. 1894; German ed., together with the author's study on the Kishinev pogrom, 1903). His brother was Paul Joseph *Errera.


Massart, in: Annuaire de la Société Royale des Sciences naturelles et médicales de Bruxelles (1905); Fredericq and Mossart, in: Annuaire de l'Académie Royale de Belgique (1908), 131–279; A. Errera, in: Commemoration Léo Errera, ed. by Université libre de Bruxelles (1960), 17–37 (includes bibliography); Pelseneer, in: Bulletin de la Société Royale de Botanique de Belgique, 92 (1960), 269–70.