This Day in History: 1824-03-04

Louis François de Pourtalès (1824 – 1880) was born on this day. He was a Swiss born US naturalist who accompanied Louis Agassiz to America in 1847; keeper of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. Pourtalès was a pioneer of deep-sea dredging in America and in the study of deep sea echinoderms, sponges, and corals; his publications include Contributions to the Fauna of the Gulf Stream at Great Depths (1867 – 1868) and Deep-Sea Corals (1871).

Pourtalès described 130 taxa and is honoured in the name of a genus of deep-sea urchins, Pourtalesia.