Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Traugott Gerber (1710 – 1743) – German naturalist

Gerbera daisies were discovered in South Africa in 1884. The genus Gerbera is named in honor of German naturalist Traugott Gerber. Traugott Gerber, a prefect of the Moscow Pharmaceutical Garden and its first trained botanist.

Traugott Gerber was baptized on January 16, 1710 in Zodel, Oberlausitz – Lower Silesia where he spent his childhood. On April 29, 1730, he registered for studies of medicine at the University of Leipzig a mere 250 kilometers from Zodel. All accounts indicate that Gerber was an excellent student in medicine as well as botany. On June 26, 1735 he applied to receive a doctorate from the medicine faculty.

Gerbera daisies
Gerber assumed his position in Moscow shortly after he finished his studies. From 1735 to 1742 he was a medical doctor in Russia, director of the oldest botanical garden in Moscow and also taught medicine at the university.

He was commissioned to create a medicinal garden in Moscow and to educate medical students in ‘herbology’. As well as creating an apothecary garden, he worked as a hospital doctor and taught anatomy and surgery at the hospital school.

From 1739-1741 he collected plants on several expeditions in Russia and in Jutland (Danish peninsular). In 1742 he became a doctor in the Russian Army and died early the following year in Finland.
Traugott Gerber (1710 – 1743) – German naturalist
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