Cohn, Ferdinand Julius (1828–1898), a German botanist, often called the founder of bacteriology. He was born in Breslau, Germany. In 1859 he became professor of botany at Breslau University. Cohn recognized bacteria as plants and developed the theory that bacteria could cause infectious disease. He helped the German bacteriologist Robert Koch prepare his report on anthrax in 1876. This was the first comprehensive case history of a bacterial disease.