Albert Grunow, was a German-Austrian chemist and algologist who specialized in the study of diatoms (microscopic unicellar algae with a siliceous cell-wall, found as plankton and forming fossil deposits). From 1851 he worked as a chemist in a metal works factory in Austria. During 1857-1859 he accompanied the Austrian expedition around the world in the frigate Novarra, led by Commodore B. von Wuellerstorf-Urbair. Places visited by the expedition included the waters around South Africa. Grunow and collaborators described the algae collected during the expedition in Reise der oesterreichischen Fregatte Novara um die Erde in den Jahren 1857, 1858, 1859... Botanische Theil (Vienna, 1870).
Subsequently Grunow continued his studies of algae, concentrating on diatoms. For example, he published on the diatoms of Austria (1862), Honduras (1877), Franz Josef Land (in the Arctic Ocean north of Russia, 1884), and other places, his last paper appearing in 1889. In 1901 he donated his collection of extant and fossil diatoms to the Natural History Museum of Vienna.