This Day In History: 1807-05-28


Louis Agassiz (1807 – 1873) was born on this day.
He was a Swiss born naturalist with a particular interest in ichthyology who moved to the US (1847) where he became one of the most influential figures on the development of American zoology and geology.
Studied under both Humboldt and Cuvier. Professor of zoology and geology at Harvard where he founded the Museum of Comparative Zoology (1859), serving as first director until his death. His son, Alexander Agassiz, continued the family association, serving as curator and, later, director. Agassiz took part in two expeditions to South America, the Thayer Expedition to Brazil (1865-66) and the Hassler Expedition (1871-72) resulting in the collection of some 60,000 specimens of fish, much of the material housed in the ichthyology collection of the museum.

Its difficult to enumerate and differentiate those taxa described by Agassiz from those described by his son; he is honoured in the names of a number of species under agassizi(i) (as is his son).