C.G.J. Petersen studied natural history at the University of Copenhagen under professor Japetus Steenstrup. He participated in expeditions 1883-1886 and sampled the benthicfauna in Danish waters systematically. In 1889, he co-founded Dansk biologisk Station, which was a mobile laboratory in a former naval transport vessel that was put in a new location every spring and anchored for the summer. His research was primarily directed towards understanding the ecology – not the least feeding ecology – and distribution of fish species and to provide the fundament for an evidence-based fisheries policy. Nevertheless, today he is mainly remembered for his significant contribution to the development of the community concept for marinebenthos.