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Biographical entry Humboldt, Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von (1769 - 1859)

FRS

Born
14 September 1769
Berlin, Germany
Died
6 May 1859
Berlin, Germany
Occupation
Explorer
Alternative Names
  • von Humboldt, Alexander (Also known as)

Summary

Alexander von Humboldt was a renowned German explorer and prolific author. Initially his trips were confined to Europe, but in 1799 he set off for South and Central America where he made some of his most important finds. His discoveries were many and wide ranging and resulted in the creation and advancement of many scientific disciplines. Alexander von Humboldt discovered the fertilizing properties of guano (bat droppings), introduced the concept of isotherms in weather recording, and studied the origin and course of tropical storms as well as the Earth's magnetic fields and volcanoes. However he is probably most well known for his work on the relationship between plant distribution and geographical and environmental factors.

Details

Events

1790
Career position - Expedition to England
1792
Career position - Expedition to Vienna
1792
Career position - Assessor of Mines in Berlin
1795
Career position - Geological and botanical survey of Switzerland and Italy
1797
Career position - Expedition to Vienna
1799 - 1804
Career position - Expedition to South and Central America
1800
Career position - Explored the course of the Orinoco River
1805 - 1834
Career position - Voyage de Humboldt et Bonpland published in 23 volumes
1808
Life event - Migrated to France (Paris)
1815
Award - Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
1829
Career position - Expedition to Russian Asia
1829
Award - Councillor in Berlin title received

Published resources

Book Sections

  • McMullen, Gabrielle L., 'The Influence of Alexander von Humboldt in Australia', in FINLAYSON, Trevor R. (ed.), Preserving the Humboldt Tradition of Scholarship in Australia: Proceedings of the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows, Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows, Melbourne, 2012, pp. 21-30. Details

Edited Books

  • Finlayson, Trevor R. (ed.), Preserving the Humboldt Tradition of Scholarship in Australia: Proceedings of the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows, Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows, Melbourne, 2012, 92 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Daum, Andreas, 'Alexander von Humbolt, die Natur als "Kosmos" und die Suche nach Einheit: Zur Geschichte von Wissen und seine Wirkung als Raumgeschichte', Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte, vol. 23, 2000, pp. 243-268. Details
  • Jeffries, Stephen, 'Alexander von Humboldt and Ferdinand von Mueller's Argument for the Scientific Botanic Garden', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 11, no. 3, 1997, pp. 301-310. Details
  • Wiederkehr, K. H., 'Alexander von Humboldt und Georg von Neumayers geophysikalisches Projekt in Australien', Mitteilungen Arbeitskreis Geschichte der Geophysik in der Deutschen Geophysikalischen Gesellschaft, vol. 7, October, 1988, pp. 1-24. Details
  • Wiederkehr, K. H. and Schroder, W., 'Georg von Neumayers geophysikalisches Projekt in Australien und Alexander von Humboldt', Gesnerus, vol. 46, 1989, pp. 83-115. Details

Online Resources

Annette Alafaci