Karl Möbius

Karl August Möbius was born on February 7th, 1825 in Eilenburg. After passing his teaching exam in 1844 with distinction he taught at the general secondary school in Seesen, Harz. In 1849 he started studying science and philosophy at the Berlin University and afterwards became a teacher for Zoology, Botanic, Mineralogy, Physics and Chemistry at the Johanneum, Hamburg. In 1863 he opened the first public salt water aquarium.

1868 he became a professor for Zoology at the Christian-Albrechts Universität Kiel and became the head of the museum for Zoology. His major interests were marine animals and the ecology of the Kiel Bay. Along with Heinrich Adolph Meyer he published the two volume work “The fauna of the Kiel Bay”. For their research they used the yacht “Marie”, owned by Meyer. During this time Möbius established the concept of biocenosis, one of the fundamental concepts of biology today.

In 1879 Möbius became head of the Kiel University and used his position to improve the scientific school teaching in Germany. His most important change was to turn away from the old taxonomic approach to a teaching method orientated along biological phenomena. 1888 he left Kiel to take the leading position at the Zoological Collection of the ethnological museum in Berlin and to become a professor at the Berlin University. 

On the 26th of April 1908 Möbius died at the age of 83 in Berlin.

Back to personalities

  • The mission of GEOMAR is:

    To investigate the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes in the ocean and their interaction with the seafloor and the atmosphere.

  • The GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel is member of the Helmholtz Association, the Deutsche Allianz Meeresforschung and the German Marine Research Konsortium (KDM).

    On the international level, the institute cooperates with many institutions in the field of marine sciences. It is a member of the "Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans" (POGO).

  • East shore campus

    GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
    Wischhofstr. 1-3
    D-24148 Kiel
    Tel.: +49-431 600-0
    Fax: +49-431 600-2805
    E-mail: info(at)geomar.de

    West shore campus

    GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel 
    Düsternbrooker Weg 20
    D-24105 Kiel