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Ferdinand von Hochstetter

Birth: 1829

Death:1884

Christian Gottlieb Ferdinand Ritter von Hochstetter (30 April 1829 - 18 July 1884) was a German-Austrian geologist. He was born at Esslingen, Württemberg, the son of Christian Ferdinand Friedrich Hochstetter (1787-1860), a clergyman and professor at Bonn, who was also a botanist and mineralogist. Having received his early education at the evangelical seminary at Maulbronn, Ferdinand proceeded to the University of Tübingen and the Tübinger Stift; there, under Friedrich August von Quenstedt, the interest he already felt in geology became permanently fixed, and he obtained his doctor's degree and a traveling scholarship.

In 1852 he joined the staff of the Imperial Geological Survey of Austria and was engaged until 1856 in parts of Bohemia, especially in the Bohemian Forest, and in the Fichtel Hills and Karlsbad mountains. His excellent reports established his reputation. Thus he came to be chosen as geologist to the Novara expedition (1857-59), and made numerous valuable observations in the voyage round the world.

In 1859 he was employed by the government of New Zealand to make a rapid geological survey of the islands. On his return he was appointed in 1860 professor of mineralogy and geology at the Imperial-Royal Polytechnic Institute in Vienna; from 1874 to 1875 he was the rector there. In 1872 he became the natural history tutor of Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria. In 1876 he was made superintendent of the Imperial Natural History Museum. In these later years he explored portions of Turkey and eastern Russia, and he published papers on a variety of geological, paleontological and mineralogical subjects.

He died in Oberdobling near Vienna, at age 55.


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