This Day In History: 1775-08-22

François Péron (1775 – 1810) was born on this day. He was a French naturalist, a participant in the Baudin expedition, featuring the ships Le Géographe and Le Naturaliste, (1800 – 1803) to map the coast of New Holland (now Australia). He joined the crew as a trainee zoologist but rose to prominence as the sole zoologist after the numerous losses incurred during the course of the expedition; with the assistance of Lesueur (initially an artist) Péron was largely responsible for the zoological specimens (c. 100,000 items) gathered during the voyage. Péron began writing the official account of the expedition, Voyage de découvertes aux Terres Australes, but died before finishing it, leaving it for Freycinet to complete.

Peron described around 130 taxa (mostly in joint authorship with Lesueur) and is honoured in the names of at least two genera (Peronia and Peronidia) and in the names of a number of species under peroni(i) (and also peronlesueuri).