Hermann Martin Asmuss was born in Dorpat, present-day Estonia, as the son of writer Johann Martin Asmuss and Christine Luise Asmuss, née Luhde. He studied at the Imperial University of Dorpat and received his doctorate from the Albertus University of Königsberg. In 1857 he was made full professor and director of the "Cabinet of natural history" at Tartu university. His main field of work lay in classifying Hemiptera. The lizard species Uromastyx asmussi is named after him.