Carl Reinhold Sahlberg – Demonstrator in Botany at old Åbo Akademi, later Professor in Botany and Zoology at Imperial Alexander University of Finland

  • Henry Väre Finnish Museum of Natural History, Botanical Museum

Abstract

Sahlberg was the temporary Demonstrator in Botany 1805–06, Demonstrator in Botany 1810–13, Associate Professor in Natural History and Museum Inspector 1813–16, temporary Professor in Natural History 1816–18, Professor 1818–1841 at old Åbo Akademi and at Imperial Alexander University of Finland. As a Demonstrator, his main duty was to instruct medical students on the subject of medicinal plants. In his research, he focused on insects, especially the Coleoptera. As a botanist, his major achievements were building the Herbarium and Botanic Garden, in two phases. Prior to the Great Fire of Åbo in 1827, he acted at old Åbo Akademi. During that period, he acquired an extensive collection to the Botanical Museum during his visits to Sweden in 1801 and 1806, and to St. Petersburg in 1813, and by exchange especially with Professors Olof Swartz and Carl Peter Thunberg. Travel to St. Petersburg was fruitful, 1 500 species of seeds, 240 roots and cuttings was received to Åbo Botanic Garden. Those were arranged by Count Vladimir Grigorievich Orlow, botanist Christian Friedrich Stephan, gardeners Johann Peter Buek and Jason Petrow in St. Petersburg, and probably by Count Alexei Razumovsky and Professor von Fischer in Moskow. In 1821 Sahlberg established Societas pro Fauna et Flora Fennica, to increase knowledge on Finnish animals and plants. After the Great Fire of Åbo, everything had to be re-built in Helsinki, the new capital of Finland since 1812. University had to move in 1828. In Helsinki Sahlberg built up new collections, first by selling his private plant collection consisting of 5 132 specimens to the Alexander University of Finland. Others collections were also bought. At the time of his retirement in 1841, the Herbarium consisted of ca. 40 000 specimens, Botanic Garden of 5 000 species. After retirement, Sahlberg establish an orchard to Yläne, SW Finland, at his Uusikartano estate. It was the largest orchard of its time in Finland, with over 1 200 apple trees.
Published
2016-12-30
How to Cite
Väre, H. (2016). Carl Reinhold Sahlberg – Demonstrator in Botany at old Åbo Akademi, later Professor in Botany and Zoology at Imperial Alexander University of Finland. Memoranda Societatis Pro Fauna Et Flora Fennica, 92. Retrieved from https://journal.fi/msff/article/view/60363
Section
Articles