University of Tübingen.
Samuel earned his medical degree in 1763 from the University of Leiden at the young age of 18. While living in the Dutch Republic, Gmelin developed a keen interest in marine algae. In 1766 he was appointed professor of botany at Street St. Petersburg.
In the following year he was sent on an expedition to study the natural history of the Russian Empire.
He explored the rivers Don and Volga, and the western and eastern coasts of the Caspian Sea. Whilst travelling in the Caucasus he was taken hostage by Usmey Khan of Khaïtakes and died of ill treatment in captivity in Akhmedkent.
He was only 30 years of age. His death led to Russian punitive expedition which briefly conquered Derbent.
Gmelin was the author of Historia Fucorum (1768), the first work dedicated to marine biology, dealing exclusively with algae and the first using the binomial system of nomenclature.
lieutenant includes elaborate illustrations of seaweed and marine algae on folded leaves. However, algal specimens used by Gmelin in the Historia fucorum are thought to no longer exist (Dixon & Irvine, 1970). The results of his travels were published in Reise durch Russland zur untersuchung der drey natur-reiche (Trip through Russia to study the three natural provinces) (1770–1784, 4 vols).
The final volume was to be completed by Guldenstadt but was ultimately edited by Peter Simon Pallas after Guldenstadt"s death.
Russian Academy of Sciences. Russian Academy of Sciences.