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Hermann Fol

Hermann Fol

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Hermann Fol was a Swiss zoologist and the father of modern cytology
Cell biology
Cell biology is a scientific discipline that studies cells – their physiological properties, their structure, the organelles they contain, interactions with their environment, their life cycle, division and death. This is done both on a microscopic and molecular level...


After studying medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 and zoology with Ernst Haeckel
Ernst Haeckel
The "European War" became known as "The Great War", and it was not until 1920, in the book "The First World War 1914-1918" by Charles à Court Repington, that the term "First World War" was used as the official name for the conflict.-Research:...

 (1834–1919) at the University of Jena where he was a pupil of François Jules Pictet de la Rive
François Jules Pictet de la Rive
François Jules Pictet de la Rive was a Swiss zoologist and palaeontologist.He was born in Geneva. He graduated B. Sc. at Geneva in 1829, and pursued his studies for a short time at Paris, where under the influence of Georges Cuvier, de Blainville and others, he worked at natural history and...

 (1809–1872) and Edouard Claparède
Édouard Claparède
Édouard Claparède was a Swiss neurologist and child psychologist.Studies of science and medicine, later of psychology under Théodore Flournoy; 1897 MD from the University of Geneva; 1897-98 at La Salpêtrière hospital in Paris; 1901 foundation of the Archives de psychologie with Flournoy, which he...

 (1873–1940), he accompanied Haeckel on a prolonged scientific journey (1866 and 1867) around the coasts of West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

 and of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

. On his return to Europe he undertook medical studies in Heidelberg
-Early history:Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man" died at nearby Mauer. His jaw bone was discovered in 1907; with scientific dating, his remains were determined to be the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of...

 and completed them by obtaining his diploma in 1869 in Zurich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

 and Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

. In 1871 he studied plankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

ic fauna in Villefranche-sur-Mer
Villefranche-sur-Mer is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera.-Geography:...

 on the recommendation of Carl Vogt(1817–1895). In 1878, he obtained a post of professor at the University of Geneva
University of Geneva
The University of Geneva is a public research university located in Geneva, Switzerland.It was founded in 1559 by John Calvin, as a theological seminary and law school. It remained focused on theology until the 17th century, when it became a center for Enlightenment scholarship. In 1873, it...

 where in the following year, he observed the penetration of a spermatozoon
A spermatozoon is a motile sperm cell, or moving form of the haploid cell that is the male gamete. A spermatozoon joins an ovum to form a zygote...

 into an egg becoming thus a pioneer of the microscopic studies of fertilisation
Fertilisation is the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism. In animals, the process involves the fusion of an ovum with a sperm, which eventually leads to the development of an embryo...

 and cellular division. In 1886, he resigned from his post in Geneva to devote himself entirely to his research in Villefranche-sur-Mer where, in 1880, he had established a small marine laboratory with Jules Henri Barrois
Jules Henri Barrois
Jules Henri Barrois was a French zoologist and head of the marine zoological laboratory at Villefranche-sur-Mer from the early 1880s. He was the brother of Charles Barrois, geologist and palaeontologist, and student of Alfred Mathieu Giard at Université de Lille....

 (1852–1943). Then, financially aided by the French government to carry out a study of distribution of sponges on the Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

n and Greek coasts, he took to sea in Le Havre
Le Havre
Le Havre is a city in the Seine-Maritime department of the Haute-Normandie region in France. It is situated in north-western France, on the right bank of the mouth of the river Seine on the English Channel. Le Havre is the most populous commune in the Haute-Normandie region, although the total...

 on his new yacht, “l' Aster” on March 13, 1892, accompanied by several team members. After a stopover in Bénodet
Bénodet is a commune in the Finistère département in Brittany in northwestern France.The name Benoded means in Breton, "mouth of the Odet". It is about 16 kilometres south of Quimper....

Fol mysteriously disappeared at sea. His disappearance was never explained.


  • Études sur les Appendiculaires du Détroit de Messine; Genf, Ramboz et Schuchardt, 1872.
  • Die erste Entwickelung des Geryonideneies; Jena Zeitschr. 7. 471-492. pl. 24, 25. 1873
  • Études sur le développement des mollusques. Premier mémoire : Sur le développement des ptéropodes; Paris, France : Centre National de la recherche scientifique, 1875?
  • Note sur l'origine première des produits sexuels; Paris, Arch. sci. phys. nat. 1875. 53. 104-111
  • Études sur le développment des mollusques. [Premier mémoire. Sur le développement des ptéropodes]; Paris, C. Reinwald, 1875
  • Études sur le développement des mollusques. 1-3, 1875–1880; Archives de zool. exper. 4. 1875. 1-214. pl. 1-10; 5. 1876. 1-54. pl. 1-4; 8. 1880. 103-232. pl. 9-18
  • Ueber die Schleimdrüse oder den Endostyl der Tunicaten; Morphol. Jahrb. 1876. 1. 222-242. pl. 7.
  • Ein neues Compressorium; Morphol. Jahrbuch. 2. 1876. 440-444
  • Sopra i fenomeni intimi della fecondazione degli echinodermi; Transunti R. Accad. Lincei, Rom, 1. 1877. 181-183
  • Sur quelques fécondations anormales chez l'étoile de mer; Compter rendus Acad. sci. Paris. 84. 1877. 659-661
  • Sur les phénomènes intimes de la division cellulaire; Paris, Comp. rend. Acad. sci Paris. 1876. 83. 667-669
  • Sur les phénomènes intimes de la fécondation; Comptes rendus Acad. sci. Paris. 84. 268-271. 1877
  • Sur le premier développement d'une étoile de mer [Asterias glacialis]; Comptes rendus Acad. sci. Paris. 84. 1877. 357-360
  • Sur les premiers phénomènes de développement des echinodermes. Asterias glacialis; Rev. scient. de la France et de l'étranger. (2), xiii, 300. 1877
  • Recherches sur la fécondation et le commencement de l'hénogénie chez divers animaux; Genf, 1879
  • Contribution à la connaissance de la famille Tintinnodea; Genf, Bureau des archives, 1881
  • Sur le Sticholonche Zanclea et un nouvel ordre de Rhizopodes; Genf, Georg, 1882
  • Sur la production artificielle de l'inversion viscérale, ou heterotaxie chez des embryons de poulet; Comptes rendus Acad. sci. Paris. 1883 (mit Édouard Sarrazin)
  • Sur l'anatomie d'un embryon humain de la quatrième semaine; Comptes-rendus Acad. sci. Paris. 97. 1883. 1563-1566
  • Sur l'origine de l'individualité chez les animaux supérieurs; Comptes-rendus Acad. sci. Paris. 97. 1883. 497-499
  • Sur l'origine des cellules du follicule et de l'ovule chez les ascidies et chez d'autres animaux; Comptes rendus Acad. sci. Paris. 96. 1883. 1591-1594
  • Sur la profondeur à laquelle la lumière du jour penètre dans les eaux de la mer; Paris, 1884*Sur la pénétration de la lumière du jour dans les eaux du lac de Genève; Paris, 1884 (with Sarrazin)
  • Sur un appareil photographique destiné à prendre des poses d'animaux en mouvement; Archives des sciences physiques et naturelles ([de la] Bibliothèque Universelle) Troisième période, t(ome) 11. 11. (No. 5.15) Mai 1884
  • Nouvelle méthode pour le transvasage de bouillons stérilisés et le dosage des germes vivants contenus dans l'eau; Genf, 1884 Recueil zoologique Suisse; Genf, Georg, 1884
  • Sur l'effet d'un repos prolongé et sur celui d'un filtrage par la porcelaine sur la pureté de l'eau; Genf, 1885 (mit Pierre Louis Dunant)
  • Les microbes : résumé de deux conférences données à l'aula de l'Université de Genève en janvier 1885; Genf, Georg, 1885 Les microbes; Genf, Georg, 1885
  • Sur la queue de l'embryon humain; Paris, 1885
  • Deux laboratoires zoologiques sur le littoral méditerranéen de la France; Genf, 1884
  • Beiträge zur histologischen Technik; : Zeitschrift f. Wissensch. Zoologie. 38. 1884. 491-495
  • Recherches sur le nombre des germes vivants que renferment quelques eaux de Genève et des environs; Mémoires de la Société de physique et d'histoire naturelle de Genève, Tome 29, No. 3. Genève 1884 (with Pierre-Louis Dunant)
  • Zoologie générale : Leçons données à l'Université de Genève pendant le semester d'hiver 1882-83; Genf, H. Georg, 1884
  • Les Microbes : Résumé de deux Conférences données à l'Autor l'Université de Genève en Janvier 1885 (avec 5 Planches hors texte); Genf, 1885 Genève et son université; Genf, Imprimerie Charles Schuchardt, 1886
  • Zoologie et physiologie; Arch. des sci. phys. et nat. (3). 16. 327-Oct. 1886
  • Sur la pénétration de la lumière dans la profondeur de la mer à diverses heures du jour; Paris, 1886 (Édouard Sarasin)
  • Lehrbuch der vergleichenden mikroskopischen Anatomie Lfg.1. Die mikroskopisch-anatomische Technik; Leipzig Engelmann 1884
  • Lehrbuch der vergleichenden mikroskopischen Anatomie, mit Einschluss der vergleichenden Histologie und Histogenie; Leipzig, Wilhelm Engelmann, 1884
  • [Letter of resignation]; Genf, 1886
  • Pénétration de la lumière du jour dans les eaux du lac de Genève et dans celles de la Méditerranée; Mémoires de la Société de physique et d'histoire naturelle de Genève, Tome 29, No. 13. Genève 1887
  • Réponse à quelques objections formulées contre mes idées sur la pénétration du zoosperme; Paris, 1887
  • Sur le commencement de l'hénogénie chez divers animaux; Arch. sci. phys. et naturelles. Geneve. 58. 439-472. 1877
  • Le quadrille des centres : un épisode nouveau dans l'histoire de la fécondation : (extrait); Genf, Impr. Aubert-Schuchardt, 1891
  • La lumière dans l'interieur de la mer; Neptunia. 1. 277-279; 1891
  • Lehrbuch der vergleichenden mikroskopischen Anatomie Lfg.2. Die Zelle; Leipzig Engelmann 1896
  • Recherches sur la fécondation et le commencement de l'hénogénie chez divers animaux; Genf, 1897
  • Die Zelle; Leipzig, Engelmann, 1896

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