CHRISTIAN GOTTFRIED NEES VON ESENBECK (1776-1858), German botanist and entomologist, was born at Erbach on the 14th of February 1776, and was educated at Darmstadt and at Jena, where he took the degree of M.D. After spending some time in medical practice he was appointed professor of botany in Erlangen in 1816. Three years later he became professor of natural history in Bonn, and in 1831 he was appointed to the chair of botany in the university of Breslau. In 1848 he entered political life and made himself so obnoxious to the government that in 1851 he was deprived of his professorship, and in consequence the latter years of his life were spent in great poverty. He died in Breslau on the 16th of March 1858.
For about forty years he edited the Nova acta of the "Acad. Leopold-Carolina," in which several of his own papers were published. His earliest memoirs dealt with the ichneumons, and he published a Monographie der Ichneumone in 2 vols. in 1828, and Hymenopterorum Ichneumonibus affinium monographiae, in 2 vols. in 1834. His other separate works include: Die Algen des siissen Wassers nach ihren Entwickelungsstufen dargestellt (1814); Das System der Pilze and Schwdmme (1816); Naturgeschichte der europciischen Lebermoose, in 4 vols. (1833-1838); "Agrostologia Brasiliensis," in the Flora Brasiliensis; and a Systema Laurinearum (1836). He also wrote numerous monographs in Flora, in Linnaea and in other scientific German magazines, either alone or along with other well-known botanists. His best-known works are those that deal with the Fungi, the Hepaticae and the Glumiferae, in all which groups he made valuable additions to knowledge.
His brother Theodor Friedrich Ludwig (1787-1837), inspector of the botanic gardens at Leiden, and afterwards professor of pharmacy at Bonn, also wrote numerous papers on botanical subjects, dealing more particularly with medicinal plants and their products.
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