Biography of Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807-1873)

Swiss naturalist, born May 28, 1807 in Freiburg and died on December 14, 1873 in Cambridge, which was noted by his zoological studies as well as for great development and momentum given to the own science of Zoology in the United States of America.

He studied medical science in Zurich (1824), Heidelberg (1826) and Munich (1827-30), where he specialized in Ichthyology. In 1826, and thanks to the knowledge of Johann Baptist Von Spix, Agassiz carried out the laborious task of writing a description of a large number of Brazilian fish. He was Professor of zoology and Professor of natural history at Neufchatel (1832-46). In November 1831 he became the French capital, where contacted another great naturalist Georges Cuvier, who studied Anatomy compared to his death, which took place in may 1832. Then spent some time in England and, later, went to the United States (1846), where he visited Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, etc. and where he got a square of teacher in new Cambridge, near Boston.

Its main studies focused on fossils, about which he wrote different works; Research on fossil fish, Monograph of living and fossil echinoderms and fossil fish of the old red stoneware of the Devonshire are featured.

In addition to the Ichthyology, also he became interested in the world of glaciers; Study on glaciers (1840) he wrote as a result of its observations in the Swiss Alps. Agassiz was the first to scientifically propose the existence of a glacial era in the past of the Earth. It gave the first signs of the cyclical existence of climatic changes on Earth, which later helped Milankovitch view and develop theories relating to the movement of the Earth and its influences to long-term climate change.

Between 1848 and 1851 he traveled North America, focusing on the domains of Lake Superior. His book an expedition in Brazil, published shortly before his death in 1868, is the result of his research in this country during the years 1865 and 1866.

In addition, he was the founder of the Museum of comparative zoology at Harvard and also occupied the Chair of history Natural of the school scientific Lawrence, belonging to Harvard University.