After studies at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) 1855-1858, he worked at the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU) 1859-1873, from 1870 as its head. 1873-1874 he studied petrographic microscopy at University of Leipzig under Ferdinand Zirkel. In 1874 he quit SGU for private activity as a geologist, and for a number of years he conducted geological surveys for various Swedish companies. He taught geology and mineralogy at KTH from 1878 and held a position as lecturer 1885-1897. He returned to SGU as head in 1897, succeeding Otto Torell, and was named professor. He remained on the post until 1906.