Louis Agassiz Facts

Louis Agassiz Facts
Louis Agassiz (May 28, 1807 to December 14, 1873) was a biologist and geologist recognized as an innovative scholar of natural history. He made significant contributions to ichthyological classification and glaciology. He is known for the thoroughness of his data gathering and analysis.
Interesting Louis Agassiz Facts:
Louis Agassiz was born in Fribourg, Switzerland.
In 1829 he received a PhD at the University of Erlangen and in 1830 his M.D. from the University of Munich.
After graduation he moved to Paris where he studied geology and ichthyology which became his life's work.
In 1820 a scientific expedition to Brazil brought back a collection of freshwater fish from the Amazon and Agassiz undertook the study.
In 1829 he completed and published his research on the Brazilian fish which spurred an interest in the fish of Lake Neuchatel.
In 1832 he became a professor of natural history at the University of Neuchatel where there was a collection of fossil fish.
Between 1833 and 1843 he published five volumes of his Recherches sur les poissons fossiles which was the first systematic study of fossil fish and secured his reputation as a scientist.
He needed more revenue for his work and the British Association and Lord Francis Egerton came to his aid.
The 1,290 original drawings for his books were purchased and given to the Geological Society of London.
In 1836 Agassiz received the Wollaston Medal and in 1838 he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society.
In 1837 he wrote a monograph on Echinodermata and between 1840 and 1845 he completed his work, Etudes critiques sur les mollusques fossiles.
Agassiz was also an able administrator and under his direction the University of Neuchatel became a leading scientific institution.
In 1837 he was the first to propose that the Earth had had a past ice age and in 1840 he published a two volume study titled etudes sur les glaciers.
In 1840 he found clear evidence of past glaciation in the mountains of Scotland and he reported his findings to the Geological Society of London.
In 1846 J.A.Lowell invited Agassiz to study the natural history of North America and deliver a series of 12 lectures.
He remained in the United States the rest of his life and he was elected a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1846.
He was the first dean of the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University in 1847.
He became a professor of zoology at Harvard and 1859 he became the founder and first director of its Museum of Comparative Zoology.
In recognition of his enormous contributions to zoology, several species are named for him including Apistogramma agassizi Steindachner (a dwarf cichlid), Isocapnia agassizi Ricker(a stonefly) and Gopherus agassizii Cooper (the desert tortoise).


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