Obituary Prof. Dr. Karl-Herrmann Neumann passed away on October 13th 2009. He was born on a farm in Morgendorf near Leitmeritz, now part of Chech Republic. In 1945 his family was transferred to Bernburg, Saxonia-Anhaltinia which became later part of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Following some problems with the communist administration, he moved to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1956 where he finished his schooling and entered Justus-Liebig-University Giessen to study agriculture. This included one year mobility to Copenhagen, Denmark majoring in agricultural chemistry, and in 1960 he graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture of the Justus-Liebeig-University Giessen. The same year he received a one-year-scholarship from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, USA where he enrolled in botany as major and biochemistry and physical chemistry as minors. In Cornell he also started working for his PhD under the supervision of Prof. F. C. Steward with studies on the function of some micro nutrients on growth and metabolism of carrot tissue cultures and was highly inspired by Steward´s ideas and results on the totipotency of plant cells. After that year he returned to Giessen and completed his PhD under the supervision of Prof. H. Linser, Institute of Plant Nutrition, Faculty of Agriculture in 1962. While working with Prof. Steward and Prof. Linser he was also intensively trained in systemic thinking and multidisciplinary research approaches which influenced his own scientific career to a considerable extent. While doing post doctorate work with Prof. Linser he finished his habilitation studies in 1968. During these years he established one of the first plant cell and tissue culture laboratories in Germany. The first problem taken up was the replacement of White´s Basal Medium with coconut milk as growth promotor by an artificial nutrient medium of defined chemical composition. In 1972 he became Professor for Biochemistry and Cell Biology of Plants at the Faculty of Nutrition of the Justus-Liebig-University. The major research topics taken up in the following years were photosynthesis, somatic embryogenesis, phytohormone action, nucleic acid metabolism, and genetic transformation in cultured carrot tissue. These studies contributed a good deal to clarify various aspects of development and differentiation in plant cell and tissue culteres and resulted also in the generation of carrot cell lines expressing small hepatitis B surface protein. Another major field of work was to investigate the effect of irrigation using Rhine water on soil, crop growth and ground water. For this purpose, an experimental farm was established south of Frankfurt. The line of work done in this field was also extended to studies on cultivation and biological remedation on saline fields in Egypt and India. Prof. Neumann´s special interest in systemic and applied research was probably best mirrored by the small edition dedicated to him by his former scientist colleagues at his retirement with the title “From Soil to Cell – a Broad Approach to Plant Life”. During his active work period Prof. Neumann was Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences and Environmental Management and also Director of the Institute of Plant Nutrition several times until he retired in 2001. His lifetime research yielded a total of about 150 publications and three text books. Prof. Neumann was truely an international scientist with global vision who cared so well, beyond national boundaries, for his many students, research associates and fellows from all over the world. We are sure that all of them, having had the privilege to work and learn in his team will keep an honourable memory of his generous personality, scientific acumen and lifetime achievement. B. Arnholdt-Schmitt A. Kumar J. Imani L. Bender Evora Jaipur Giessen