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SUESS, EDUARD (1831–), Austrian geologist, was born in London on the 20th of August 1831, his father, a native of Saxony, having settled there as a German merchant. Three years later the family removed to Prague, and in 1845 to Vienna. Eduard Suess was educated for commercial life, but early displayed a bent for geology. At the age of nineteen he published a short sketch of the geology of Carlsbad and its mineral waters; and in 1852 he was appointed an assistant in the Imperial museum of Vienna. There he studied the fossil Brachiopoda, and manifested such ability that in 1857 he was appointed professor of geology at the university. In 1862 he relinquished his museum duties, and gave his whole time to special research and teaching, retaining his professorship until 1901. Questions of ancient physical geography, such as the former connexion between northern Africa and Europe, occupied his attention; and in 1862 he published an essay on the soils and water-supply of Vienna. He was elected a member of the town council, and in 1869 to a seat in the Diet of Lower Austria, which he retained until 1896. Meanwhile he continued his geological and palaeontological work dealing with the Tertiary strata of the Vienna Basin, also turning his attention to the problems connected with the evolution of the earth's surface-features, on which he wrote a monumental treatise. This, the great task of his life, embodied the results of personal research and of a comprehensive study of the work of the leading geologists of all countries; it is entitled Antlitz der Erde, of which the first volume was published in 1885, the second in 1888, and pt. i. of the third volume in 1901. The work has been translated into French, and (in part) into English. Suess was elected a corresponding member of the Institute of France in 1889, and a foreign member of the Royal Society in 1894. In 1896 the Geological Society of London awarded to him the Wollaston medal.

Memoir (with portrait), by Sir A. Geikie, Nature (May 4, 1905).