Friday, December 6, 2019

Augustin Pyramus de Candolle – Swiss botanist

Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, (born February 4, 1778, Geneva—died September 9, 1841, Geneva), Swiss botanist was one of the pre-eminent botanists of the nineteenth century. He is best remembered for his contributions to plant systematics; however, he is the first scientist to provide a comprehensive account of allelopathy.

At the age of seven, he was stricken with hydrocephalus, but survived seemingly with no ill effects. He became fluent in Latin while at school, and seemed destined for a literary career. His taste for botany was stimulated by attending the lectures of Prof. J. Vaucher (1763–1841), a founder of the Geneva Natural History Society.

In 1796 de Candolle visited Paris for the first time, and at the young age of 18, he met several of the leading French scientists in natural history including Georges Cuvier, Desfontaines and Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck.

He became an assistant to Cuvier at the Collège de France (1802), and prepared revisions of Lamarck’s Flore française (1805, 1815).

He also had begun giving botany lectures at the College de France in 1804. In the same year he completed his dissertation for his degree in medicine, and this was published successfully as Essai sur les Propriétés Médicales des Plantes.

When he was appointed professor of botany at the University of Montpellier (1808), Candolle had already begun a government-commissioned botanical and agricultural survey of France (1806–12), the results of which he published in 1813.
Augustin Pyramus de Candolle – Swiss botanist
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