Every four years the Phycology Section awards the ‘Hans-Adolf von Stosch Medal’ to persons who rendered outstanding services to the Section and its aims.

Live and Work of Hans-Adolf von Stosch

Hans-Adolf von Stosch was a renowned specialist on algae at the University of Marburg, Germany. Despite turbulent times he managed to deliver outstanding contributions to his scientific discipline. Von Stosch was born 1908 in Berlin, studied biology and chemistry in Kiel, Göttingen and Munich and received  his doctor’s degree in 1933. Subsequently, he worked as an academic assistant in Königsberg. Although the beginning of World War II stopped his scientific career, he habilitated while being temporarily released from the military service. After return from captivity as prisoner of war he carried on with his research in 1947 at the technical University of Darmstadt until he was appointed as full-professor in Pharmacognosy (pharmaceutical biology) at the University of Marburg in 1955. A call as professor from the institute of marine sciences at Kiel provoked the University of Marburg to create a chair in protophyte sciences especially for him. After 32 years of teaching, he retired in 1976 as a professor emeritus. Von Stosch continued to work in science for another decade, nearly until he died in 1987.

Besides the genetic regulation, change of form and ontogenetic development of organisms are complex processes that are externally triggered by abiotic factors such as nutrition, light and temperature. Our current knowledge about these processes in unicellular algae would be unthinkable without the scientific research of Hans-Adolf von Stosch. He also contributed fundamental knowledge to the cultivation of algae in the laboratory recognizing the importance of vitamins and trace metals in artificial culture media at an early stage.

The awarding of the ‘Hans-Adolf von Stosch Medal’ by the Phycology Section shall honour the significance of his life’s work. It shall keep alive the memory of this outstanding scientist.1)

1) Translated by Dr. Inka Bartsch and esw

Both sides of the Hans-Adolf von Stosch Medal, which was awarded for the first time in 2006 to Professor Ludwig Kies. Graphic: Phycology Section