Ernst Haeckel as Botanist
Ernst Haeckel as Botanist - Reconstruction and Contextualization
(DFG BA 2121/1-1; duration: 1.10.2020 to 30.09.2023)
Project directors: Dr. Thomas Bach and Prof. Dr. Frank Hellwig
Editor: Dipl. Biol. Elisabeth Müller
Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) not only did pioneering scientific work as a zoologist and evolutionary biologist, but was also an important figure in the dissemination and popularization of Darwinism, as a travel writer, and as an artist for a large audience. Despite specializing in zoology, his first scientific steps were taken in botany. His previously unpublished correspondence, diaries and drawings document this, as does his herbarium with its abundance of different species. Haeckel's botanical studies have yet to be researched in their entirety and their significance for his later scientific work has not yet been understood. Based on the holdings of the Ernst Haeckel Archive Jena (letters, diaries, manuscripts and drawings) and the Haussknecht Herbarium Jena (Ernst Haeckel Herbarium), Ernst Haeckel’s botanical studies will be reconstructed in the light of history of science in an interdisciplinary cooperation between the two institutions. These studies will be contextualized both with regard to their significance in Ernst Haeckel’s work as a whole and with respect to practice-formation and theory-building in the mid-19th century.