Ferdinand von Mueller Biography
(German-Australian Botanist Who Founded the National Herbarium of Victoria and Named Many Australian Plants)
Birthday: June 30, 1825 (Cancer)
Born In: Rostock, Germany
Ferdinand von Mueller was a German-Australian geographer and botanist who founded the National Herbarium of Victoria. Over the course of his extensive career, he served as the government botanist for the then colony of Victoria and later director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. One of Australia's most prominent 19th century scientists, he ventured into botany at quite a young age. Born in Germany, he was just 15 when he began his study of the vegetation of the Schleswig-Holstein area, a project that would take him several years. He proceeded to study botany under Professor Ernst Ferdinand Nolte at Kiel University and earned his doctorate with a thesis on the plants of the southern regions of Schleswig. His interest in studying plants from different regions led to a love for exploration as well. As a young man he moved to Australia where he explored the areas around Mount Arden and Mount Brown and continued his botanical research. Soon he established himself as a reputed botanist and was appointed government botanist for Victoria by Governor Charles La Trobe. He travelled extensively on scientific expeditions and is credited to have discovered nearly 800 species in Australia new to science. Mueller never married and dedicated his entire life to scientific pursuits.