Dr. h.c. Josef Donner - 75 years
published: Dec 18, 1985
On February 28, 1984, Dr. h. c. P. Josef Donner, one of the best Rotatoria specialists and no doubt the best bdelloideologist, still vigorous and actively working, celebrated his 75th birthday. Born in a craftsman family in Bavaria (Aschaffenburg), he spent his youth in West Bohemia. There he studied and graduated at the gymnasium (sedondary school) of České Budějovice (Budweis) and Planá (Plan), where he was motivated for science by his natural history teacher, an enthusiastic Darwinist, Dr. Ferdinad Urban. During his philosophy and theology studies in Germany and Austria he studied biology privately and made concentrated microscopic examinations of lower Metazoa and Protozoa. The founder of genetics, Gregory Mendel, became the idol for young Donner. After his university years J. Donner became a gymnasium teacher in Planá. He continued with great intensity in his studies of water microfauna. Prof. Dr. Vincenz Brehm, known crustaceologist noted his results and encouraged hirn to specialize. The young biologist then concentrated on the taxonomy and ecology of rotifers for the rest of his life - because of their "Vielfalt, Schönheit und Lebendigkeit", to quote his own words (1956), and the challenging complexity of their masticatory apparatus and stornach (Bdelloidea). Dr. Donner remembers with respect his "rotatoriology" teachers Dr. Max Voigt, Kurt Wulfert and Dr. h. c. Josef Hauer.