He was born in Berlin, where he studied medicine and natural sciences, receiving his PhD in 1855 as a student of Johann Christoph Friedrich Klug. In 1856 he obtained his habilitation for zoology, and soon afterwards, became a curator at the Zoological Museum of Humboldt University. In 1864 he began work as a lecturer at the Landwirtschaftlichen Lehranstalt (Agricultural Educational Facility) in Berlin. In 1874 he became an associate professor for zoology at the University of Berlin, and in 1876, a professor of zoology at the University of Greifswald. He died in Greifswald.
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