Eduard Adolf Strasburger – Botanist

From Today in Science History:

Eduard Adolf Strasburger. Born 1 Feb 1844; died 18 May 1912.

Adapted from Wikipedia:

He was a Polish-German professor who was one of the most famous botanists of the 19th century.

He was born in Warsaw, Poland. Strasburger studied natural sciences in Paris, Bonn and Jena, receiving a PhD in 1866. In 1868 he taught at the University of Warsaw. In 1869 he was appointed professor of botany at the University of Jena. Since 1881 he was head of the Botanisches Institut at the University of Bonn.

Strasburger was a founder of the famous Lehrbuch der Botanik für Hochschulen (Textbook of Botany), which first appeared in 1894. He was the first to provide an accurate description of the embryonic sac in gymnosperms (such as conifers) and angiosperms (flowering plants), along with demonstrating double-fertilization in angiosperms. He came up with one of the modern laws of plant cytology: “New cell nuclei can only arise from the division of other nuclei.” and originated the terms cytoplasm and nucleoplasm.
Together with Walther Flemming, and Edouard van Beneden he elucidated chromosome distribution during cell division. His work on the upward movement of tree sap proved that the process was physical and not physiological.

(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

- His Text Book of Botany
- See his biography at the German Botanical Society.
- Some of his letters’ at the Darwin Correspondence Project. (not yet online)
- On the first of July, 1908 he received the famed Darwin-Wallace Medal – at the same celebratory meeting where the Linnean Society re-released the Darwin and Wallace papers on natural selection. At this same meeting, several of giants of 19th century biology were also recognised, including: Alfred Russel Wallace (Gold), Joseph D Hooker, August Weisman, Ernst Haeckel, Francis Galton and E. Ray Lankester (Silver). His award presentation can be found here.

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