Edouard Van Beneden

Édouard Joseph Louis Marie Van Beneden (5 March 1846 in Leuven – 28 April 1910 in Liège), son of Pierre-Joseph Van Beneden, was a Belgian embryologist, cytologist and marine biologist.[1][2] He was professor of zoology at the University of Liège. He contributed to cytogenetics by his works on the roundworm Ascaris. In this work he discovered how chromosomes organized meiosis (the production of gametes).

Edouard Van Beneden
Edouard van Beneden in front of the Aquarium et musée de zoologie.jpg
Edouard Van Beneden
Born5 March 1846
Died28 April 1910 (1910-04-29) (aged 64)
Known formeiosis
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Liège

Van Beneden elucidated, together with Walther Flemming and Eduard Strasburger, the essential facts of mitosis, where, in contrast to meiosis, there is a qualitative and quantitative equality of chromosome distribution to daughter cells. (See karyotype).[citation needed]



Van Beneden's father, Pierre-Joseph van Beneden (1809–1894) was also a well-known biologist. He introduced two important terms into evolutionary biology and ecology: mutualism and commensalism.[3]


  1. ^ Dictionary of Biography Page 141 Houghton Mifflin Company - 2003 "Beneden, Edouard Joseph Louis-Marie van 1846-1910 * Belgian cytologist and embryologist Born in Liege,"
  2. ^ Anonymous, 1920. Professor Van Beneden of Liége. Science, New Series, Vol. 52, No. 1333 (Jul. 16, 1920), pp. 55-56 [Free PDF https://www.jstor.org/stable/1645676]
  3. ^ Boucher D.H. 1985. The idea of mutualism, past and future. In D.H. Boucher (ed) The biology of mutualism: ecology and evolution. Oxford University Press. 1–28


  • Hamoir, Gabriel (March 1992). "The discovery of meiosis by E. Van Beneden, a breakthrough in the morphological phase of heredity". Int. J. Dev. Biol. 36 (1): 9–15. PMID 1627480.
  • Hamoir, Gabriel (October 1986). "[Edouard Van Beneden, biologist and stoic]". Revue médicale de Liège. 41 (20): 779–85. PMID 3541105.
  • Hamoir, Gabriel. "La révolution évolutionniste en Belgique: du fixiste Pierre-Joseph Van Beneden à son fils darwiniste Édouard", Presses Universitaires de Liège, 2001.