Dr Lauterer was born in Freiburg, Germany. While a medical student he enlisted in the Franco-Prussian War and served as Surgeon or Surgeon’s Mate.He graduated in medicine in 1872.
He had a strong interest in botany and two years after graduating published an important work on the botany of the Freiburg region. In 1885 he migrated to Australia and, after a brief stay in the Blue Mountains, came to Queensland where he spent the rest of his life. He practised medicine in the South Brisbane region for twenty-five years and at the same time was active in the scientific community, serving as President of the Royal Society of Queensland in 1896; he was a keen member of the Field Naturalists Section of the Society. Marks described him as an entertaining lecturer; during a lecture on Aboriginal languages he sang Aboriginal songs, at a lecture on Queensland wines he produced thirty-five specimens which the audience was invited to taste, and at one on the Bunya Pine he handed around raw and roasted nuts.
In botany, he was particularly interested in poisonous and medicinal plants and in Aboriginal medicine. In the laboratory he established at his home he carried out detailed investigations on gums and resins, and on the exudates of eucalypts and angophoras, and wrote on Macrozamia poisoning in stock. His natural history interests included animals and he described a new species of scorpion, Charon annulipes. His name is commemorated in that of the Corduroy Tamarind, Mischarytera lautereriana.
Lauterer was a pioneer in the study of Aboriginal languages and published on the language of the Yerongpan tribe between Brisbane and Ipswich.
LAUTERER, J. (1895) Queensland native astringent medicines, illustrated by the chemistry of the gums of eucalypts and angophoras. Report of the Sixth Meeting of the Ausfralasian Association for the Advancement of Science: 293-304.
MAIDEN, J.H. (1922) Records of Australian botanists. Second supplement. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 55: 150-169.
MARKS, E.N. (1960) A history of the Queensland Philosophical Society and the Royal Society of Queensland from 1859 to 1911. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 71 (2): 17-42, Pls 1-2.
PEARN, J.H. (2001) A Doctor in the Garden. Amphion Press, Brisbane.
Source: Extracted from: A.B.CRIBB, The Queensland Naturalist, Vol.44, Nos.1-3, 2006