Ma Ta-Pu, born in 1904 in Fujian, received a bachelor’s degree from Department of Forestry at National Central University in 1932. In 1936, Ma was enrolled in the University of Minnesota and received a master of science in forestry in 1937.
After returning to China, Ma successively taught at Department of Forestry at Guangxi University, College of Agriculture at Jiangxi Zhongzheng University, Department of Biology at Anhui College, and Department of Forestry at Nanjing University. At Nanjing University, Ma also served as head of the department and dean. During 1957-1958, Ma was sent by the Ministry of Forestry to Hanoi University of Agriculture, and in 1963, the Vietnamese government awarded him “Friendship Medal” to recognize his contributions to Vietnamese economic development.
Ma once served as the deputy board chair of Chinese Society of Forestry, and a member of Science and Technology Committee at Ministry of Forestry. In 1985, Chinese Society of Forestry honored him for his 50-year engagement in Chinese forestry.
In addition, Ma edited many important textbooks, including “Science of Silviculture”, “Science of Forestry”, “Forest Resource Investigation and Planning”, etc. Besides, he was the chief editor of a very important reference book “Images of Major Trees and Seedlings” which has been a valuable contribution to the field of forestry. In 1983, Ma Ta-Pu was awarded the first prize of National Invention Award.