Carl Chun

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Carl Chun
Carl chun.jpg
Born(1852-10-01)1 October 1852
Höchst (Frankfurt), Germany
Died11 April 1914(1914-04-11) (aged 61)
Leipzig, Germany
EducationUniversity of Leipzig, University of Göttingen
Known for Seasonal vertical migration
AwardsCothenius Medal of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Scientific career
FieldsCephalopods and plankton
InstitutionsUniversity of Leipzig, University of Breslau
InfluencesRudolf Leuckart
Author abbrev. (zoology)Chun

Carl Chun (1 October 1852 – 11 April 1914) was a German marine biologist.[1]

Chun was born in Höchst, today a part of Frankfurt, and studied zoology at the University of Leipzig, where from 1878 to 1883 he was privat-docent of zoology and an assistant to Rudolf Leuckart. After professorial posts in Königsberg (1883–1891) and Breslau (1891–1898), he returned to Leipzig as a professor of zoology.[2]

In 1888, Chun described seasonal vertical migration (SVM) which has a periodicity of ca. 1 year. Chun examined depth-stratified net samples from the Mediterranean Sea. He explained the seasonal disappearance of jellyfish and crustaceans from the upper pelagial layer of the ocean in terms of their migration to depths below 1000 m. In contrast to diel vertical migration (DVM) which occurs daily, SVM is still not well understood.[3][4]

He initiated and led the German deep sea expedition (1898/99 "Valdivia" Expedition),[2] which set out on 31 July 1898 from Hamburg to explore the deep sea in the subantarctic seas. They visited Bouvetøya, the Kerguelen Islands, and other islands, before returning to Hamburg, where they arrived on 1 May 1899.[5]

Chun was a specialist on cephalopods and plankton. He discovered and named the vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis, which means "vampire squid from hell"). Chun was also interested in making science accessible to larger audiences. He published in a popular style a narrative of the "Valdivia" expedition, which found a wide resonance (Aus den Tiefen des Weltmeeres, 1900).[6]

He died on 11 April 1914 in Leipzig, Germany, aged 61.

Selected works[edit]

  • Aus den Tiefen des Weltmeeres, Jena 1900.
  • Allgemeine Biologie, Leipzig 1915.
  • Die Cephalopoden, 2 volumes., Jena 1910.[2]

See also[edit]

Taxon described by him[edit]


  1. ^ Mills, Eric L. (1980). "Alexander Agassiz, Carl Chun and the Problem of the Intermediate Fauna". Oceanography: The Past. Springer: 360–372. doi:10.1007/978-1-4613-8090-0_34. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  2. ^ a b c UNI Leipzig Professorenkatalog (biographical sketch)
  3. ^ Bandara, Kanchana; Varpe, Øystein; Wijewardene, Lishani; Tverberg, Vigdis; Eiane, Ketil (August 2021). "Two hundred years of zooplankton vertical migration research". Biological Reviews. 96 (4): 1547–1589. doi:10.1111/brv.12715. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  4. ^ Rinke, Karsten; Petzoldt, Thomas (22 October 2008). "Individual-based simulation of diel vertical migration of Daphnia: A synthesis of proximate and ultimate factors". Limnologica. 38 (3): 269–285. doi:10.1016/j.limno.2008.05.006. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  5. ^ Chun, Carl (1903). Aus den Tiefen des Weltmeeres. Jena: Gustav Fischer. pp. V, 12. doi:10.18452/2.
  6. ^ Andreas W. Daum, Wissenschaftspopularisierung im 19. Jahrhundert: Bürgerliche Kultur, naturwissenschaftliche Bildung und die deutsche Öffentlichkeit, 1848–1914. Munich: Oldenbourg, 1998, ISBN 3-486-56337-8, pp. 330, 428, 480 (2nd ed. 2002 with the same page numbers).

Further reading[edit]

Ilse Jahn, ed., Geschichte der Biologie: Theorien, Methoden, Institutionen, Kurzbiographien. 3. ed., Berlin: Spektrum, 2000, ISBN 978-3-8274-1023-8, pp. 798, 867, 881, 900, 996.