Johann Georg Gmelin

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Johann Georg Gmelin

Born August 8, 1709
Died May 20, 1755

Johann Georg Gmelin (August 8, 1709 - May 20, 1755) was a German naturalist, botanist and geographer.

Gmelin was born in Tübingen, the son of an apothecary. He was a gifted child and graduated with a medical degree at the age of 18. In 1730 he travelled to St Petersburg to lecture at the university, and in the following year was appointed professor of chemistry and natural history. At his suggestion, Johann Amman left Hans Sloane in London to take up a post in St Petersburg. The final two volumes of Johann Christian Buxbaum's (1693-1730) Centuria were published posthumously by Gmelin.[1]

From 1733 to 1743 Gmelin made a journey of scientific exploration through Siberia. He described the position of the Yenisey river as a boundary between Europe and Asia and participated in measuring the lowest temperature ever recorded at Yeniseysk. He was also the first person to measure the fact that the level of the Caspian Sea was below that of the Mediterranean Sea.

Gmelin's major works were Flora Sibirica (4 vols., 1749-1750) and Reisen durch Sibirien (4 vols., 1753). He spent his final years as professor of medicine at the University of Tübingen, a post to which he was appointed in 1749.

He was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1749.

The Gmelina is named after him.


External links

  • Flora Sibirica [1] at Göttinger Digitalisierungszentrum

Complete Bibliography