Felix Anton Dohrn: The Zoological Station of Naples, a great hotel for scientists

Ambition, determination and impatience characterize the life and activity of Felix Anton Dohrn, born in Szczecin, Pomerania on 29 December 1840 to Carl August and Adelheid Dietrich, on whom rested, obviously, all the weight of administering the family heritage.

Carl August, in fact, despite being director of the sugar mill founded by his father Heinrich, never abandoned his ambitions in other fields: passionate about literature, he translated a number of theatrical works; his interest in zoology led him to becoming director in 1840 of the entomological magazine Entomologische Zeitung, which he directed until 1887.

His home in Szczecin was a place of encounter for musicians, painters, and naturalists passing through. This was the climate Anton grew up in, the last of four children. At the age of 16, he had already published an essay, "A Few Questions regarding Hemipterology," in his father's magazine. After school, he attended university, first in Koenigsberg and then in Bonn. He continued at Jena beginning in 1862, attending physics classes given by Schaeffer, anatomy lessons from Carl Gegenbaur, and histology and zoology from E. Haeckel.