Famous 19th Century Biologists

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Find out more about the greatest 19th Century Biologists, including Alexander Fleming, Alfred Russel Wallace, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Ernst Haeckel and Alfred Kinsey.
Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century Biologists
 1 
Alfred Russel Wallace
(Naturalist, Explorer, Geographer, Anthropologist and Biologist)
Alfred Russel Wallace
6
Birthdate: January 8, 1823
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Llanbadoc
Died: November 7, 1913

British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace is largely remembered for his theory of evolution through natural selection, which inspired Charles Darwin’s studies. He began his career as a surveyor’s apprentice and later introduced concepts such as reinforcement in animals, also known as the Wallace effect. He was awarded the Order of Merit.

 2 
Karl Landsteiner
(Physician)
Karl Landsteiner
6
Birthdate: June 14, 1868
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: June 26, 1943

Karl Landsteiner was a physician, biologist, and immunologist. He is credited with distinguishing the main blood groups as well as identifying the Rhesus factor. He is also credited with discovering the polio virus along with Erwin Popper and Constantin Levaditi. He won the Aronson Prize in 1926. In 1930, Landsteiner was honored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

 3 
Charles Darwin
(Naturalist known for His Contributions to Evolutionary Biology)
Charles Darwin
6
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: The Mount House, Shrewsbury, England
Died: April 19, 1882

Widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the history of mankind, Charles Darwin was an English biologist, naturalist, and geologist. He is credited with publishing the Theory of Evolution, which explains the evolution of life from a unicellular organism to human beings. A prolific writer, Charles Darwin also wrote important books on plants and barnacles.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Theodor Schwann
(Physiologist)
Theodor Schwann
3
Birthdate: December 7, 1810
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Neuss, Germany
Died: January 11, 1882

Theodor Schwann was a German physiologist and physician best remembered for his important contributions to biology. He is credited with discovering the Schwann cells, which is named after him. He is also credited with discovering pepsin and the organic nature of yeast. Theodor Schwann also invented the term metabolism.

 5 
Jagadish Chandra Bose
4
Birthdate: November 30, 1858
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bikrampur, Bengal Presidency, British India (Now Munshiganj District of Bangladesh)
Died: November 23, 1937

Indian physicist, biologist, and plant physiologist Jagadish Chandra Bose revolutionized science with his research on how plants and animals react to external stimuli. He founded the Bose Institute, made pioneering contribution to the field of radio and microwave optics, and also penned one of the first works of Bengali science fiction.

 6 
Gregor Mendel
(Know for Creating the science of Genetics)
Gregor Mendel
4
Birthdate: July 20, 1822
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hynčice, Vražné, Czechia
Died: January 6, 1884

A scientist, meteorologist, mathematician, and biologist, Gregor Mendel is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics. He conducted a series of experiments on pea plants between 1856 and 1863, establishing many rules of heredity. Besides his work on pea plants, he also described novel plant species and conducted experiments with hawkweed and honeybees.

 7 
Louis Agassiz
(Geologist)
Louis Agassiz
3
Birthdate: May 28, 1807
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Montier
Died: December 14, 1873

Louis Agassiz was a biologist and geologist. He was famous as a scholar of Earth's natural history. Born in Switzerland, he completed his education in Europe and emigrated to USA. He was appointed a professor of zoology and geology at Harvard University. He later founded the Museum of Comparative Zoology at the Lawrence Scientific School.  

 8 
Thomas Hunt Morgan
(Geneticist)
Thomas Hunt Morgan
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1866
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lexington
Died: December 4, 1945

Thomas Hunt Morgan was an evolutionary biologist, geneticist, and embryologist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933. He worked extensively on the role that the chromosome plays in heredity and demonstrated that genes are carried on chromosomes. In his later career, he established the division of biology at the California Institute of Technology. 

 9 
John Muir
(Naturalist)
John Muir
4
Birthdate: April 21, 1838
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dunbar
Died: December 24, 1914

John Muir was a Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, botanist, zoologist, and author. Nicknamed Father of the National Parks and John of the Mountains, Muir was an influential proponent of the preservation of wilderness in the US. He is credited with co-founding the American conservation organization, The Sierra Club. Muir is considered a hero by many environmentalists around the world.

 10 
Robert Koch
(Physician)
Robert Koch
4
Birthdate: December 11, 1843
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany
Died: May 27, 1910

Robert Koch was a German microbiologist and physician. One of the prominent co-founders of modern bacteriology, Koch is credited with creating and improving laboratory techniques and technologies in the field of microbiology. He is also credited with making important discoveries in public health. In 1905, Robert Koch won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on tuberculosis.

 11 
Herbert Spencer
(Philosopher and Sociologist Known for His Hypothesis of ‘Social Darwinism’ and the Expression 'Survival of the Fittest')
Herbert Spencer
4
Birthdate: April 27, 1820
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Derby, Derbyshire, England
Died: December 8, 1903

Herbert Spencer was the man behind the expression “survival of the fittest,” after reading Charles Darwin's iconic work On the Origin of Species. The British anthropologist, sociologist, and philosopher introduced the concept of Social Darwinism, which applied the theory of evolution to societies and social classes.

 12 
Rudolf Virchow
(The Father of Modern Pathology' & the Founder of 'Social Medicine')
Rudolf Virchow
4
Birthdate: October 13, 1821
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Swidwin, Poland
Died: September 5, 1902

Rudolf Virchow was a German physician, pathologist, anthropologist, biologist, prehistorian, editor, writer, and politician. Nicknamed the Pope of medicine by his colleagues, Virchow is credited with founding the field of social medicine. He is also widely regarded as the father of modern pathology.  Rudolf Virchow was the first person to name diseases, such as thrombosis, leukemia, ochronosis, embolism, and chordoma.

 13 
Oswald Avery
(Biologist, Physician, Geneticist)
Oswald Avery
7
Birthdate: October 21, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Halifax
Died: February 20, 1955

A pioneer of molecular biology, Oswald Avery revolutionized science with his research on the chemical processes involved in immunology. The Canadian-American bacteriologist initially aspired to be a musician. He later proved that DNA was the basis of heredity. Though nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times, he never won it.

 14 
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
(Naturalist and Biologist Best Known for Proposing that Acquired Characteristics can be Inherited.)
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
4
Birthdate: August 1, 1744
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bazentin, France
Died: December 18, 1829

French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck acquired his love for plants while serving as a soldier in the French army. Following an injury, he quit his military career but retained his love for botany. He later taught zoology, studied the classification of invertebrates, and also coined the term biology.

 15 
Paul Ehrlich
(Scientist)
Paul Ehrlich
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1854
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Strzelin, Poland
Died: August 20, 1915

German scientist Paul Ehrlich is remembered for his contribution to immunology, which also won him a Nobel Prize. Known as the pioneer of chemotherapy, he also discovered the first-known treatment of syphilis. Born into a business family, he was introduced to the method of studying cells by his pathologist uncle.

 16 
Thomas Henry Huxley
4
Birthdate: May 4, 1825
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ealing, London, England
Died: June 29, 1895

Thomas Henry Huxley was an English biologist and anthropologist. He specialized in comparative anatomy and was a proponent of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Despite having little formal schooling, he went on to become one of the finest comparative anatomists of the 19th century. He was the chair of natural history at the Royal School of Mines for 31 years. 

 17 
Ronald Fisher
(Statistician)
Ronald Fisher
4
Birthdate: February 17, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: East Finchley, London, England
Died: July 29, 1962

Ronald Fisher was a British polymath, statistician, geneticist, mathematician, and academic. He is credited to have single-handedly created the foundations for modern statistical science. He made important contributions to the field of genetics and is known as one of the three principal founders of population genetics. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1929. 

 18 
Nettie Stevens
(American Geneticist Known for Her Discovery of 'X and Y Sex Determining Chromosomes')
Nettie Stevens
8
Birthdate: July 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cavendish, Vermont, United States
Died: May 4, 1912

Nettie Stevens was an American geneticist. She is credited with discovering sex chromosomes which later came to be known as the X and Y chromosomes. In 1994, Nettie Stevens was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 19 
Trofim Lysenko
(Experimenter)
Trofim Lysenko
4
Birthdate: September 29, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Karlivka
Died: November 20, 1976

Trofim Lysenko was a Soviet biologist and agronomist. Lysenko was one of the most influential supporters of Lamarckism. He also condemned Mendelian genetics and supported Lysenkoism, a political campaign that rejected natural selection. Lysenko used his political power to imprison his critics. Several Soviet scientists, including Nikolai Vavilov, who failed to renounce genetics were either imprisoned or killed.

 20 
Hans Christian Gram
(Former bacteriologist noted for his development of the Gram stain)
Hans Christian Gram
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1853
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 14, 1938

Hans Christian Gram was a Danish bacteriologist best remembered for developing a technique called Gram stain, which is still used today to classify bacteria. He achieved international recognition after developing the Gram stain technique. Hans Christian Gram also served as a professor at the University of Copenhagen.

 21 
Richard Owen
(Biologist)
Richard Owen
3
Birthdate: July 20, 1804
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lancaster, England
Died: December 18, 1892
 22 
Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild
(Biologist, Banker, Politician, Zoologist, Ornithologist, Entomologist, Lepidopterist)
Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild
3
Birthdate: February 8, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England
Died: August 27, 1937
 23 
Justus von Liebig
3
Birthdate: May 12, 1803
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Darmstadt, Germany
Died: April 18, 1873

German chemist Justus von Liebig is best known for his research on organic compounds and his contribution to biochemistry and agriculture. The Copley Medal-winning scientist initially studied pharmacy but later switched to chemistry. As a professor, he stressed on laboratory-based teaching of chemistry and separating it from pharmacy, opposing traditional methods.

 24 
Alister Hardy
(Biologist, Marine biologist)
Alister Hardy
2
Birthdate: February 10, 1896
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nottingham
Died: May 22, 1985
 25 
Julian Huxley
(Biologist)
Julian Huxley
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 14, 1975
 26 
Claude Bernard
(Physiologist)
Claude Bernard
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1813
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Julien, France
Died: February 10, 1878

Claude Bernard was a French physiologist whose scientific experiments led to several important discoveries. He is credited with coining the phrase milieu intérieur, which refers to the extracellular fluid (ECF) environment. He also pioneered the use of a blinded experiment to eliminate various experimental biases.

 27 
Matthias Jakob Schleiden
(German Botanist & Co-founder of 'Cell Theory')
Matthias Jakob Schleiden
3
Birthdate: April 5, 1804
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamburg
Died: June 23, 1881

Matthias Jakob Schleiden was a German botanist who is credited with co-founding cell theory along with Rudolf Virchow and Theodor Schwann. He is also remembered for his service as a professor at the University of Dorpat from the mid 1860s.

 28 
Alexis Carrel
(Surgeon, Biologist)
Alexis Carrel
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, Rhône, France
Died: November 5, 1944
Nobel Prize-winning French biologist and surgeon Alexis Carrel is remembered for developing a method to suture blood vessels with minimum stitches, to repair them. He also successfully kept tissues alive outside the body for 30 years, in an innovative tissue culture experiment, and worked on organ transplantation.
 29 
Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov
3
Birthdate: August 1, 1870
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shchigry
Died: March 20, 1932
 30 
Camillo Golgi
(Physician, Pathologist, Biologist)
Camillo Golgi
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1843
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Corteno, Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, Italy
Died: January 21, 1926

Nobel Prize-winning cytologist and physician Camillo Golgi is remembered for his contribution to the study of the central nervous system. He revolutionized medical science with his staining technique and discoveries such as the Golgi cell, the Golgi tendon organ, and the Golgi apparatus, apart from his research on malaria.

 31 
Sergei Winogradsky
(Russian Microbiologist and Ecologist Who Pioneered the Concept of the Cycle of Life)
Sergei Winogradsky
2
Birthdate: September 1, 1856
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: February 25, 1953
 32 
Friedrich Miescher
(First Scientist to Isolate Nucleic Acid in 1869)
Friedrich Miescher
3
Birthdate: August 13, 1844
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: August 26, 1895

Apart from being the first to discover nucleic acid, Swiss biochemist Friedrich Miescher also isolated protamine, a protein associated with nucleic acid. Born to a scientifically rich family, he initially wished to become a doctor, but rendered partially deaf due to typhoid, he later chose physiological chemistry.

 33 
Charles Lucien Bonaparte
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1803
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 29, 1857
 34 
Patrick Geddes
(Scottish Biologist, Sociologist and Pioneering Town Planner Who Coined the Term 'Conurbation')
Patrick Geddes
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1854
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died: April 17, 1932

Apart from being a sociologist and biologist, Patrick Geddes was known for his impeccable sense of town planning. While he initially taught botany in Dundee, he later turned to sociology and conducted studies in India, Mexico, and other countries. He was eventually knighted for his achievements.

 35 
Hugo de Vries
(Botanist, Biologist, Geneticist, University teacher)
Hugo de Vries
3
Birthdate: February 16, 1848
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem
Died: May 21, 1935
 36 
Friedrich Ratzel
(Biologist, Geopolitician, Geographer, Zoologist, Political scientist, University teacher)
Friedrich Ratzel
3
Birthdate: August 30, 1844
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Karlsruhe
Died: August 9, 1904

Friedrich Ratzel was a German ethnographer and geographer. He was the first person to use the term Lebensraum, which would later become an important and popular word among the National Socialists. Also an influential writer, Friedrich Ratzel's works served as a justification for imperial expansion. 

 37 
Sewall Wright
(Geneticist)
Sewall Wright
2
Birthdate: December 21, 1889
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Melrose, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 3, 1988
 38 
August Weismann
(Biologist, Zoologist, Geneticist)
August Weismann
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1834
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: November 5, 1914
 39 
William Bateson
(Biologist who was the first person to use the term genetics to describe the study of heredity)
William Bateson
2
Birthdate: August 8, 1861
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Whitby, Yorkshire, England
Died: February 8, 1926
 40 
Jean-Henri Fabre
(Entomologist)
Jean-Henri Fabre
2
Birthdate: December 21, 1823
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint-Leons, France
Died: October 11, 1915
 41 
Charles Davenport
(American Biologist and Eugenicist Influential in the 'American Eugenics Movement')
Charles Davenport
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1866
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stamford, Connecticut, United States
Died: February 18, 1944

Charles Davenport was a prominent biologist and eugenicist who played an influential role in the American eugenics movement. He earned a Ph.D. in biology and ventured into an academic career. He pioneered new quantitative standards of taxonomy and earned much prominence as a biologist. He later founded the Eugenics Record Office and the International Federation of Eugenics Organizations (IFEO). 

 42 
Walther Flemming
(Biologist)
Walther Flemming
2
Birthdate: April 21, 1843
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Schwerin, Germany
Died: August 4, 1905
 43 
Carl Akeley
(American Taxidermist, Sculptor, Biologist, Conservationist and Inventor Known for His Contributions to American Museums)
Carl Akeley
2
Birthdate: May 19, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clarendon, New York, United States
Died: November 17, 1926

Carl Akeley was an American taxidermist, biologist, sculptor, conservationist, nature photographer, and inventor. Widely regarded as the father of modern taxidermy, Akeley is remembered for his immense contributions to American museums, such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Milwaukee Public Museum. He is also credited with founding the AMNH Exhibitions Lab.

 44 
Ana Aslan
(Biologist)
Ana Aslan
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1897
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brăila, Romania
Died: May 20, 1988
 45 
D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson
2
Birthdate: May 2, 1860
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: June 21, 1948

D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson was a Scottish mathematician, biologist, and classics scholar. A pioneer of mathematical biology, Thompson is best remembered for writing a book titled On Growth and Form, which is widely admired by architects, anthropologists, and biologists among others. Over the course of his illustrious career, D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson received several prestigious awards like the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal.

 46 
Ferdinand Cohn
(Founder of Bacteriology and Microbiology)
Ferdinand Cohn
2
Birthdate: January 24, 1828
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: June 25, 1898

Ferdinand Cohn was a German biologist who is credited with co-founding microbiology and modern bacteriology. Apart from publishing more than 150 research reports, Cohn also made significant contributions to the field of botany. He was also the first person to classify algae as plants. Ferdinand Cohn received the prestigious Leeuwenhoek Medal in 1885.

 47 
Paul Kammerer
(Biologist)
Paul Kammerer
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 23, 1926
 48 
Albert Claude
(Cell Biologist)
Albert Claude
2
Birthdate: August 24, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Longlier, Neufchâteau, Belgium
Died: May 22, 1983
Born to a baker father, Nobel Prize-winning cell biologist Albert Claude had lost his mother to cancer as a child. He had served the British Intelligence Service during World War I. He used the electron microscope in biology for the first time and also discovered several components of the cell.
 49 
Bernard Germain de Lacépède
(French Naturalist Known for Continuing Comte de Buffon's Encyclopaedic Collection 'Histoire Naturelle')
Bernard Germain de Lacépède
1
Birthdate: December 26, 1756
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Agen, France
Died: October 6, 1825
 50 
Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay
(Russian Anthropologist Known for Being One of the First to Explore New Guinea and Oppose Slavery)
Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay
0
Birthdate: July 17, 1846
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yazykovo, Russia
Died: April 14, 1888