Aino Henssen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Aino Marjatta Henssen (12 April 1925, Elberfeld – 29 August 2011, Marburg[1]), was a German lichenologist and systematist. Her father, Gottfried Henssen, was a folklorist and her mother was Finnish.[2]

Education and career[edit]

Henssen began her studies in Biology in Freiburg, Germany, before continuing in Marburg, Germany. She obtained her doctorate in 1953, which focused on the physiology of Spirodela polyrhiza. In 1963, she became the curator of the Botanisches Institut at Philipps-Universität in Marburg, Germany. She was later appointed to the position of Associate Professor for thallophyte studies. She retired in 1990.


Henssen made many advancements to the taxonomic knowledge of cyanolichens and wrote a textbook on the subject. This book reorganized the taxonomic classification and connected lichen families to evolutionary clades. She later focused on actinomycetes during her postdoctoral at the Institute for Bacteriology in Berlin, leading to the discovery of two new genera, Pseudonocardia Henssen and Thermomonospora Henssen.[3] She was passionate towards her field work, which took her around the world to collect specimens. Over the years, Henssen published many scientific articles on topics relating to lichens, fungi and the systematics of these groups.


Henssen was given a scholarship from the American Association of University Women. In 1992, she was honored with an Acharius Medal.

Species described with year of publication[edit]


  1. ^ Aino Henssen Archived 2012-04-25 at the Wayback Machine. on (finnish)
  2. ^ Aino Henssen (in Finnish) Helsingin Sanomat
  3. ^
  4. ^ IPNI.  Henssen.

External links[edit]