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Johann Friedrich Gmelin

J. F. Gmelin
Johann Friedrich Gmelin (1748–1804)
Born (1748-08-08)8 August 1748
Tübingen, Holy Roman Empire
Died 1 November 1804(1804-11-01) (aged 56)
Göttingen, Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Nationality German
Fields Naturalist, botanist and entomologist
Institutions University of Göttingen
University of Tübingen
Alma mater University of Tübingen
Doctoral advisor Philipp Friedrich Gmelin
Ferdinand Christoph Oetinger
Doctoral students Georg Friedrich Hildebrandt
Friedrich Stromeyer
Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer
Wilhelm August Lampadius
Known for Textbooks
Author abbrev. (botany) J.F.Gmel.
He was the eldest son of Philipp Friedrich Gmelin and the father of Leopold Gmelin.

Johann Friedrich Gmelin (8 August 1748 – 1 November 1804) was a German naturalist, botanist, entomologist, herpetologist and malacologist.


  • Education 1
  • Career 2
  • Legacy 3
  • Publications 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Johann Friedrich Gmelin was born as the eldest son of Philipp Friedrich Gmelin in 1748 in Tübingen. He studied medicine under his father[1] at University of Tübingen and graduated with an MD in 1768, with a thesis entitled: Irritabilitatem vegetabilium, in singulis plantarum partibus exploratam ulterioribusque experimentis confirmatam., defended under the presidency of Ferdinand Christoph Oetinger,[2] whom he thanks with the words Patrono et praeceptore in aeternum pie devenerando, pro summis in medicina obtinendis honoribus.


In 1769, Gmelin became an adjunct professor of medicine at University of Göttingen. He was promoted to full professor of medicine and professor of chemistry, botany, and mineralogy in 1778. He died in 1804 in Göttingen.

Johann Friedrich Gmelin published several textbooks in the fields of chemistry, pharmaceutical science, mineralogy, and botany. He also published the 13th edition of Systema Naturae by Carolus Linnaeus in 1788.


Among his students were Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer, Friedrich Stromeyer and Wilhelm August Lampadius. He was the father of Leopold Gmelin.

He discovered the Redfin Pickerel in 1789.

In the scientific field of herpetology, he described many new species of amphibians and reptiles.[3]

In the field of malacology, he described and named many species of gastropods.

The abbreviation "Gmel." is also found.[5]


  • Allgemeine Geschichte der Gifte, 2 Vol., 1776/77 Digital edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf.
  • Allgemeine Geschichte der Pflanzengifte, 1777
  • Allgemeine Geschichte der mineralischen Gifte. Nürnberg : Raspe, 1777. Digital edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf.
  • Johann Friedrich Gmelins ... Einleitung in die Chemie zum Gebrauch auf Universitäten. Nürnberg: Raspe, 1780. Digital edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf.
  • Einleitung in die Pharmacie. Nürnberg: Raspe, 1781. Digital edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf.
  • Beyträge zur Geschichte des teutschen Bergbaus, 1783
  • Ueber die neuere Entdeckungen in der Lehre von der Luft, und deren Anwendung auf Arzneikunst, 1784
  • Grundsätze der technischen Chemie, 1786
  • Grundriß der Pharmazie, 1792
  • Apparatus Medicaminum tam simplicium quam praeparatorum et compositorum in Praxeos Adiumentum consideratus, Ps. 2, T. 1 - Ps. 2, T. 2., 1795–1796. Digital edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf.
  • Geschichte der Chemie, 1799
  • Allgemeine Geschichte der thierischen und mineralischen Gifte, 1806
Göttingen, Cheltenhampark, Grave of Johann Friedrich Gmelin


  1. ^
  2. ^ Irritabilitatem vegetabilium in singulis plantarum partibus exploratatam
  3. ^ The Reptile Database.
  4. ^
  5. ^ See for instance: Audubon, John James (1831) - Ornithological Biography : Volume 1, p. 232. Online available at wikisource.
  • Vane-Wright, R. I., 1975. The butterflies named by J. F. Gmelin (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera).Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History),Entomology, 32: 17-64.

External links

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