Dr h.c. Friedrich Hustedt (1886-1968) was born and brought up in Bremen and introduced to the world of algae by his teacher Ernst Lemmermann. As teacher, and from 1924 head teacher, of the school in Hauffstraße in Bremen, Hustedt occupied his free time with the study of diatoms which he collected mainly from the waters of rivers and estuaries in North Germany. He also collected further afield but samples and preparations came from all over the world, sent to Hustedt by his contemporaries. It remains the largest private collection of diatoms in the world.
Because of his standing in the science at the time, Hustedt was persuaded to leave school-teaching in 1939 and funded to continue his study of diatoms full-time. In 1963 he sold his collection to the State of Bremen on the understanding that after his death, interested scientists would be able to consult it. Accordingly the "Hustedt-Arbeitsplatz" was established at the Institut für Meeresforschung in Bremerhaven, since 1986 integrated within the AWI.