Ferdinand Cohn

Botanist, Academic

1828 – 1898

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Who was Ferdinand Cohn?

Ferdinand Julius Cohn was a German biologist. He is one of the founders of modern bacteriology and microbiology.

Ferdinand Cohn was born in the Jewish quarter of Breslau in the Prussian Province of Silesia. His father, Issak Cohn, was a successful merchant and manufacturer. At the age of 10 Ferdinand suffered hearing impairment. Starting at age 16 he studied botany under Heinrich Goppert at the University of Breslau. Due to Cohn's Jewish background he was prevented from taking the final degree examinations at Breslau. He then moved to the University of Berlin. At age 19 in 1847 he received a degree in botany at Berlin. He remained studying botany for another couple of years in Berlin, where he came in contact with many of the top scientists of his time.

In 1849 he returned to the University of Breslau and he remained at that university for the rest of his career as a teacher and researcher. On his initial return to Breslau in his early twenties, his father had bought for him a large and expensive microscope made by Simon Plössl. This microscope, which the University of Breslau and most universities did not have, was Ferdinanad Cohn's main research tool in the 1850s. In the 1850s he studied the growth and division of plant cells. In 1855 he produced papers on the sexuality of Sphaeroplea annulina and later Volvox globator. In the 1860s he studied plant physiology in several different aspects. From 1870 onward he mostly studied bacteria. He published over 150 research reports during his lifetime. The University of Breslau became an innovative center for plant physiology and microbiology while he was there.

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Born
Jan 24, 1828
Wrocław
Religion
  • Judaism
Ethnicity
  • Germans
Nationality
  • Germany
Profession
Education
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
Lived in
  • Wrocław
Died
Jun 25, 1898
Wrocław

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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"Ferdinand Cohn." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 19 Jan. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/ferdinand_cohn>.

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