Carl Chun was born in 1852. He studied zoology under Rudolf Leuckart at the University of Leipzig, where he was appointed professor of biology. In 1897, at a meeting of Deutsche Naturforscher und Aertze in Leipzig, Chun proposed that a deep-sea expedition for zoological observation should be organized, later enlarging the scope to include chemical and physical observations. Setting out from Hamburg in the steamship Valdivia on 1 August 1898, he led the German Deep Sea Expedition, 1898-1899, sponsored by the German government. After visiting Cape Town, the expedition headed south to Bouvetøya, accurately fixing its position and size for the first time. On 16 December, the ship achieved a farthest south of 64°15 minutes South, dredging from a depth of 2540 fathoms erratic boulders of granite, gneiss and sandstone. These sedimentary rocks provided additional evidence that the land reported by previous expeditions further south 'Enderby Land' was likely to form part of a continent. The expedition visited Iles Kerguelen, Ile Saint-Paul, and Ile Amsterdam, before continuing through more temperate latitudes. Valdivia returned to Hamburg on 30 April 1899. Chun died in 1914 after a distinguished academic career.
From the guide to the Carl Chun collection, 1911-1913, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)