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Dr. Karl Ernst von Baer's Biography

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Dr. Karl Ernst von Baer was a polymath, whose major achievements included establishing the new science of comparative embryology.

From 1810 to 1814, he studied medicine at Kaiserliche Universität zu Dorpat / Imperial Tartu University, where one of his teachers was Karl Friedrich Burdach, who had created the term 'biology'.

From 1815 to 1816, he studied clinical medicine including comparative anatomy at the University of Würzburg where Ignaz Döllinger was a major influence.

From 1817 to 1834 von Baer taught at Königsberg, originally re-joining Professor Burdach and then becoming professor of zoology and taking over from Burdach in the chair of anatomy. It was during this period that he originated comparative embryology.

In 1834 he went to St. Petersburg, where he became a full member of the Academy of Sciences. After full membership, he became an honorary member until 1867.

Von Baer's focus shifted from embryology to become a naturalist, exploring various areas of Russia, making discoveries in geography, anthropology and entomology.

Karl Ernst von Baer died in November 1876.

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