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A Korbnetz, one of several inventions by Hensen to collect plankton.
Christian Andreas Victor Hensen (February 10, 1835 ‚Äď April 5, 1924) was a Germanmarker zoologist (planktology). He coined the term plankton and laid the foundation for biological oceanography.

Hensen was born in the town of Schleswigmarker. He studied medicine at the universities of W√ľrzburgmarker, Berlinmarker (studying under M√ľller) and Kielmarker. In 1859, he received his doctorate in Kiel for a thesis on epilepsy and urinary secretions.

In 1867, he became a member of the Prussian House of Representativesmarker to push towards studies of the ocean. Upon his initiative, the Royal Prussian Commission for the Exploration of the Oceans was founded.

From 1871 to 1891, Hensen was professor of physiology at Kiel. During his time, he was head of five marine biological expeditions to the Balticmarker and North Seasmarker, as well as the Atlantic Oceanmarker.

Hensen also worked in embryology and anatomy. He discovered a structure in the ear, the Hensen duct (or Canal of Henson; also Hensen's cells, Hensen's stripe), and a structure essential for the development of birds, the Hensen's node.

The RV VICTOR HENSEN is a research vessel named in his honor.


  • Zur Morphologie der Schnecke des Menschen und der S√§ugethiere (1863)

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