Günther Osche

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Günther Osche (2006)
Günther Osche's grave of his wife Elisabeth in the Johannisfriedhof (Nuremberg) .

Günther Osche (born August 7, 1926 in Neustadt an der Haardt ; † February 2, 2009 in Freiburg im Breisgau ) was a German zoologist , evolutionary biologist , ecologist and parasitologist .


From childhood Osche was interested in nature. At 15 he became a member of the German Ornithological Society , at 16 he joined the Natural History Society of Nuremberg . In 1927 he moved with his family to Nuremberg, where he attended high school from 1937. In 1943 Günther Osche was called up for military service, but was still able to finish school with a “ Notabitur ”. In July 1944 he was sent to the front as a soldier, where he was wounded in both legs in France in November 1944. As a prisoner of war , he was operated on several times in a military hospital in Mulhouse , Alsace, and his right knee remained stiff.

After Osche was released from captivity in April 1946, he began studying at the University of Erlangen . In addition to zoology and botany, he took courses in geology, chemistry and geography. In June 1951 he was with summa cum laude to the Dr. phil. nat. PhD. His dissertation was entitled Systematics , Phylogeny and Ecology of the Genus Rhabditis (Nematoda) and was supervised by Hans-Jürgen Stammer .

He then received a scholarship from the Free State of Bavaria and in 1952 a position as a scientific assistant, where he continued his studies with free-living and parasitic nematodes . In 1963 he completed his habilitation at the University of Erlangen with a thesis on the systematic position and phylogeny of tongue worms (pentastomida). In 1966, Osche became a university lecturer and published the popular science book Die Welt der Parasiten and the contribution Fundamentals of General Phylogenetics in the Handbuch der Biologie .

In the same year he was offered a chair in both Kiel and Freiburg im Breisgau . Osche accepted the Freiburg chair for systematic zoology. He thus belonged to the "third generation" of professorships who were appointed when the Faculty of Biology was restructured and whose "founding fathers" Hans Mohr and Bernhard Hassenstein are considered. In the years 1963/1964 the "second generation" was added with the professorships Carsten Bresch (genetics), Gerhart Drews (microbiology), Hans Grisebach (biochemistry) and Klaus Sander (animal developmental biology). In addition to Osche, the "third generation", who was appointed from 1967 to 1969, included the professorships Hans-Joachim Elster (limnology), Rainer Hertel (molecular biology), Peter Sitte (cell biology), Hanns-Christof Spatz (biophysics) and Otti Wilmanns ( Geobotany).

Close colleagues at his chair included Otto-Julius Stark , Wolfgang Wülker and Peter Weygoldt . In addition, Osche worked closely with ecologists at other departments, such as the limnologist Jürgen Schwoerbel . Together with Otti Wilmanns, he provided important impulses for the then young discipline of biocenology .

One of the core elements of Freiburg's zoology studies were Osche's lectures “Special Zoology of Invertebrates ”, which he held every winter semester from 1967 to 1988 and which his students remembered as “legendary”. With the lectures he gave as part of the lecture series on "Human Biology", he not only inspired his colleagues and students, but also an interested audience in Freiburg and the surrounding area.

Osche wrote numerous general and popular scientific texts such as the two books Ecology and Evolution , which were published by the Freiburg publishing house Herder . The eight-volume Herder-Lexikon der Biologie was published by the same publisher from 1983 to 1987 , in which Osche worked together with Claus-Günter Collatz as a specialist advisor for zoology.

In 1988 Günther Osche retired early.

Memberships and honors


  • Theo Michael Schmitt : Günther Osche - a Man of the Spoken Word. In: Zool. Number 235, 1996, pp. 1-9.
  • Klaus Peschke: Günther Osche 70 years old . Freiburg University Gazette 35, 1996, 133, p. 145
  • Walter Brewhouse : Günther Osche †. Evolutionary biologist and zoologist of exceptional rank . Meeting reports of the Society of Friends of Natural Sciences in Berlin. NF 47, 2008. pp. 169-171
  • Bernhard Hassenstein : Mourning address for Prof. Dr. Günther Osche (1926 - 2009) . Meeting reports of the Society of Friends of Natural Sciences in Berlin NF 47. 2008. pp. 172–176
  • Klaus Peter Sauer : Laudation on the award of honorary membership in the German Zoological Society to Dr. Dr. hc Günther Osche, Professor Emeritus and formerly Director at the Zoological Institute of the University of Freiburg. ( Full text of the laudation , PDF file; 75 kB)
  • Klaus Peter Sauer: Obituary for Günther Osche August 7, 1926 - February 2, 2009 . ZOOLOGY 2009 - Announcements of the German Zoological Society. 77-79
  • Klaus Rehfeld: The fascination of the living. In memory of the zoologist Günther Osche (1926-2009) . Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau 62. 2009 5 pp. 244–246
  • Ulrich Kutschera : Memories of the Freiburg evolutionary biologist Günther Osche (1926 - 2009) . Negotiations on the History and Theory of Biology, Vol. 16, Berlin: VWB 2010, 257–263.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Website of the Faculty of Biology ( Memento of the original from September 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.biologie.uni-freiburg.de
  2. idw-online.de
  3. dzg-ev.de