Emil Christian Hansen

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Emil Christian Hansen
Emil Christian Hansen
Born8 May 1842 (1842-05-08)
Died27 August 1909 (1909-08-28) (aged 67)
Known forSaccharomyces carlsbergensis
Scientific career
InstitutionsCarlsberg Laboratory
Author abbrev. (botany)E.C.Hansen
Hansen in his lab.

Emil Christian Hansen (8 May 1842 – 27 August 1909) was a Danish mycologist and fermentation physiologist.

Born in Ribe, he financed his education by writing novels. He was awarded a gold medal in 1876 for an essay on fungi, titled De danske Gjødningssvampe.[1] During his days as a university student in Copenhagen, he worked as an unpaid assistant to zoologist Japetus Steenstrup (1813–1897). In 1876, with Alfred Jørgensen (1848–1925), he published a Danish translation of Charles Darwin’s "The Voyage of the Beagle"; Rejse om Jorden. From 1879 to 1909, he was director of the physiological department at Carlsberg Laboratory.[2]

Hired by the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen in 1879,[3] he became the first to isolate a pure cell of yeast in 1883, and after combining it with a sugary solution, produced more yeast than was in a yeast bank. It was named as Saccharomyces carlsbergensis after the laboratory, and is the yeast from which are derived, all yeasts used in lager beers.[4] See Fermentation, Yeast.

Hansen is the taxonomic authority of the fungal genus Anixiopsis (1897) from the family Onygenaceae.[5]

He was honoured in 1911, when botanist H. Zikes published Hanseniaspora, which is a genus of yeasts.[6]

Publications by Hansen that have been translated into English[edit]


  • Claussen, Niels Hjelte Emil Christian Hansen, pp. 161–164 in: Meisen, V. Prominent Danish Scientists through the Ages. University Library of Copenhagen 450th Anniversary. Levin & Munksgaard, Copenhagen (1932)
  • Beer in Health and Disease Prevention edited by Victor R. Preedy


  1. ^ Encyclopedia.com (biography)
  2. ^ Darwinarkivet (biographical information)
  3. ^ www.germanbeerinstitute.com Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Olesen, K; Felding, T; Gjermansen, C; Hansen, J (2002). "The dynamics of the Saccharomyces carlsbergensis brewing yeast transcriptome during a production-scale lager beer fermentation". FEMS Yeast Res. 2 (4): 563–73. doi:10.1016/s1567-1356(02)00155-1. PMID 12702272.
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of Life Anixiopsis
  6. ^ "Hanseniaspora Zikes, 1911". www.gbif.org. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  7. ^ WorldCat Search (publications)
  8. ^ International Plant Names Index.  E.C.Hansen.