The German scientist Hermann Burmeister (1807-1892) became a Leopoldina member in 1833 and Johann Friedrich Theodor Müller (1822-1897) was admitted in 1884. They both played a vital role in the establishment and institutionalization of scientific research in South America. In particular, they were jointly responsible for developing a specifically South American variation of the Darwinism that had been expounded in Germany by Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), a Leopoldina member since 1863.
That this transfer of academic knowledge was not a one-way street is confirmed by the physical evidence in the collections: Archives and collections in Germany and Europe, especially the archives at the Leopoldina and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, profited greatly from the collecting and classification work of these two natural scientists. The project investigates the work of both these men in three particular areas: