Emil Christian Hansen

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For other people named Christian Hansen, see Christian Hansen (disambiguation).
For the artist born Emil Hansen, see Emil Nolde.
Emil Christian Hansen
Emil Christian Hansen.jpg
Emil Christian Hansen
Born May 8, 1842 (1842-05-08)
Died August 27, 1909 (1909-08-28)
Nationality Danish
Fields Mycology
Institutions Carlsberg Laboratory
Known for Saccharomyces carlsbergensis
Author abbrev. (botany) E.C.Hansen
Hansen in his lab.

Emil Christian Hansen (May 8, 1842 – August 27, 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]

Employed by the Carlsberg Laboratory in Copenhagen, he discovered that yeast was composed of different kinds of fungi and that the yeast culture could be cultivated. He isolated a pure cell of yeast, and after combining it with a sugary solution, produced more yeast than was in a yeast bank. It was known as Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, and is used in lager beers.[3] See Fermentation, Yeast.

Hansen is the taxonomic authority of the fungal genus Anixiopsis (1897) from the family Onygenaceae.[4]

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

  • Practical studies in fermentation: being contributions to the life history of micro-organisms, 1896.
  • Considerations on Technical Mycology, 1905.[5]


  • 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. ^ NCBI The dynamics of the Saccharomyces carlsbergensis brewing yeast transcriptome
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of Life Anixiopsis
  5. ^ WorldCat Search (publications)
  6. ^ "Author Query for 'E.C.Hansen'". International Plant Names Index.