Hörstadius studied under John Runnström at Stockholm University College and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1930. He was appointed professor of zoology at Uppsala University 1942, where he remained until his retirement in 1964, but continued to lecture as an emeritus. He was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1946 and of the Royal Society in 1952.
- Jacobson, C. O. (2000). "Sven Otto Horstadius. 18 February 1898 -- 16 June 1996: Elected For.Mem.R.S. 1952". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 46: 243. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1999.0082.
- Horstadius, S. (1950). "The mechanics of sea urchin development". L'année biologique. 26 (8): 381–398. PMID 14790592.
- Thorogood, P. (1989). "The Neural Crest. Including a Facsimile Reprint of the Neural Crest by Sven Horstadius. Brian K. Hall. Oxford University Press, New York, 1988. Viii, 303 pp., illus. $60". Science. 246 (4936): 1503. doi:10.1126/science.246.4936.1503. PMID 17756010.
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