Publication Details

Organ, M. K. 2012, 'Ferdinand Hochstetter in Australia, 1858-1859', in J. Braund (eds), Germanica Pacifica: Ferdinand Hochstetter and the Contribution of German-Speaking Scientists to New Zealand Natural History in the Nineteenth Century, Peter Lang GmbH, Frankfurt. pp. 297


The visit to Australia in 1858 of the Austrian Imperial Frigate Novara was part of a flag-waving exercise by the Austrian Habsburg monarchy, though it acquired added significance due to the inclusion on board of a scientific contingent comprising Ferdinand Hochstetter (geologist); Georg Frauenfeld and Johann Zelebor (zoologists); Eduard Schwarz and Anton Jelinek (botanists); Karl Scherzer (historiographer, ethnographer and economist); and Joseph Selleny (artist). Members of the crew, including Commodore Bernhard von WullerstorfUrbair and Lt. Robert Muller, were also expert in the fields of meteorology, hydrography, oceanography, geophysics and linguistics. The records of these scientists and their various collections would have an impact beyond the mere politics of the Novara venture, with Ferdinand Hochstetter being the scientist to gain most from his association. The Novara departed its home port of Trieste on 30 April 1857 and returned on 26 August 1859. Some twenty-one official volumes recording the findings of the expedition appeared between 1861 and 1876 under the series title Reise der Osterreichischen Fregatte Novara urn die Erde 1857, 1858, 1859. Numerous papers were published by scientific bodies such as the Vienna Academy of Science, and Austrian museums were presented with foreign collections for study and display.