Gustav Tschermak

Gustav Tschermak

Mineralogist, petrologist.
Date of Birth: 19.04.1836
Country: Austria

  1. Biography of Gustav Tschermak
  2. Early Career
  3. Contributions to Science
  4. Professional Achievements
  5. Legacy

Biography of Gustav Tschermak

Gustav Tschermak was a renowned mineralogist and petrologist who made significant contributions to the field of earth sciences. He was born in Vienna, Austria, and attended the University of Vienna, where he completed his studies.

Early Career

In 1862, Tschermak began working at the Imperial Mineralogical Cabinet in Vienna. His dedication and expertise in the field led to his appointment as the director of the cabinet in 1868. During his time there, he conducted extensive research on aluminosilicate minerals and developed a theory on their structure based on the concept of isomorphism.

Contributions to Science

Tschermak's groundbreaking work extended beyond mineralogy. He also conducted studies on meteorites and proposed a hypothesis suggesting that they were formed as a result of volcanic explosions on asteroids. His research in this area provided valuable insights into the origins of extraterrestrial materials.

In 1872, Tschermak established the journal "Mineralogische Mitteilungen" (Mineralogical Communications), which later became known as "Tschermaks Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen" (Mineralogy and Petrology). This publication became a prominent platform for scholars to share their findings and advancements in the field.

Professional Achievements

Tschermak's contributions to science were widely recognized and honored. In 1875, he was elected as a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Vienna, and he became a corresponding member in 1866. Moreover, Tschermak served as the first president of the Vienna Mineralogical Society in 1901, which is now known as the Austrian Mineralogical Society. His immense knowledge and leadership skills greatly contributed to the growth and development of the society.

In 1912, Tschermak was named an honorary foreign member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, further acknowledging his significant contributions to the field of earth sciences.


Gustav Tschermak's impact on the scientific community is evident through the numerous honors bestowed upon him. In recognition of his achievements, a mineral was named after him, called Tschermakite.

Tschermak's legacy extended beyond his own career. His son, Erich Tschermak-Seysenegg (1871-1962), followed in his father's footsteps and became a notable scientist in the field of genetics. Erich focused on crossbreeding agricultural and horticultural plants, contributing to the advancements in plant breeding. The Tschermak family's scientific contributions have left an indelible mark on the scientific community.