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Linnaeus' Disciples

Linnaeus was appointed to a professorship in Uppsala in 1741 and was then given responsibility for the care of Olof Rudbeck's old garden. Today this is the Linnaean Garden. It was here that he began teaching, based on both cultivated and wild plants. Linnaeus also kept animals in the garden and taught zoology.

Linnaeus called the students whom he especially valued his "apostles", and he selected from these apostles when deciding who should travel abroad. Linnaeus himself never travelled outside of Sweden after he had been appointed as professor.

The 17 apostles included Pehr Kalm, who travelled to North America; Daniel Solander, who travelled on Cook's first round-the-world voyage; Anders Sparrman, who travelled on Cook's second round-the-world voyage; and Carl Peter Thunberg, who travelled to South Africa, Japan, Java and Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon). It was Thunberg who took over the Linnaeus professorship in 1784. He published flora that described the plants of theCape Provinceand Japan, and he supervised nearly 300 doctoral theses, in the spirit of Linnaeus.

More information can be found at:

The Linnaeus Link Project - a project whose aims include the presentation of an on-line bibliography of the works of Linnaeus and his disciples.

Linnaeus and his disciples - a research project based atUppsalaUniversityand Södertörns högskola ("SödertörnUniversityCollege") about Linnaeus role as teacher.

The IK Foundation has commenced production of a comprehensive work on Carl Linnaeus and his 17 disciples.

All information on this web site is from the Linnaeus Tercentenary year of 2007 and has not been updated since. If using texts from this web site, please refer to Linnaeus2007 as the source.
Use of pictures from sit web site is not allowed.

Solander, Oil paintin by W.J.S. Brown, copy of an original by William Parry © KVA
Sparrman © KVA
Thunberg, Oil painting by Jacob Fredrik Ek, copy from an original by Per Krafft d.y. © KVA