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Marine Biology Studies at Naples: The Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn

Marine Biology Studies at Naples: The Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn

Chapter:
(p.29) Two Marine Biology Studies at Naples: The Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Source:
Why Study Biology by the Sea?
Author(s):
Christiane Groeben
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226673097.003.0003

The German zoologist Anton Dohrn (1840-1909) belonged to the beach to bench generation. He had absorbed and experienced the discomfort of his teacher’s (Ernst Haeckel) generation in getting research material from the beach to the bench. Seven years after Dohrn’s first contact with marine fauna at Helgoland (1865) the foundations of a zoological station were laid in Naples (1872). An unusual variety of personal and academic experiences and encounters, of inspirations, roadblocks and opportunities helped Dohrn to shape his initial idea of a modest research facility open to travelling scientists in Messina into a solid research infrastructure in Naples-soon recognized as a model of its kind. The interaction of scientific, personal and cultural factors usually made a research stay at the Naples Station a very special experience for scientists coming from many national, scientific and cultural backgrounds. The abundance of live research material and the improvement of research methods were two essential requirements for finding convincing answers about biodiversity and the origin and processes of life. Hence, the need to be close to the sea and to rely on a host such as Anton Dohrn capable to make the institution function like an independent organism.

Keywords:   Anton Dohrn, Stazione Zoologica, Marine biology

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