Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus

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Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus
Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus.jpg
Born(1776-02-04)4 February 1776
Bremen, Germany
Died16 February 1837(1837-02-16) (aged 61)
Bremen, Germany
Alma materUniversity of Göttingen
Known forBiology, Transmutation of species
Scientific career
FieldsBiology, Mathematics, Medicine
InstitutionsGerman Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Academic advisorsJohann Friedrich Blumenbach

Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus (4 February 1776, Bremen – 16 February 1837, Bremen) was a German physician, naturalist, and proto-evolutionary biologist.

His younger brother, Ludolph Christian Treviranus (1779–1864), was also a naturalist and botanist, and also a notable taxonomist and zoologist.


Treviranus was born in Bremen and studied medicine at the University of Göttingen, where he took his doctor's degree in 1796.

During the following year, he was appointed professor of medicine and mathematics at the Bremen lyceum.[1] In 1816, he was elected a corresponding member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Treviranus was a proponent of the theory of the transmutation of species, a theory of evolution held by some biologists prior to the work of Charles Darwin. He put forward this belief in the first volume of his Biologie; oder die Philosophie der lebenden Natur, published in 1802, the same year similar opinions were expressed by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.[2]

In the 1830s, he was the first to identify rod photoreceptor cells in the retina using a microscope.[3]

Selected writings[edit]

  • Biologie; oder die Philosophie der lebenden Natur für Naturforscher und Aerzte, (1802–22).
  • Beiträge zur Lehre von den Gesichtswerkzeugen und dem Sehen des Menschen und der Thiere, (1828).
  • Beiträge zur Aufklärung der Erscheinungen und Gesetze des organischen Lebens (with Ludolph Christian Treviranus), (1835–38).[4]


  1. ^ London Medical and Surgical Journal. 1837.
  2. ^ Google Books From Natural Philosophy to the Sciences: Writing the History of Nineteenth edited by David Cahan
  3. ^ Origins of Neuroscience: A History of Explorations Into Brain Function by Stanley Finger
  4. ^ WorldCat Search (publications)
  5. ^ International Plant Names Index.  G.Trevir.

External links[edit]