Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Bonaparte, Charles Lucien Jules Laurent
from Wikipedia.org |
Though he was never entirely able to divorce himself
from his family's association with politics, Charles Lucien "Prince" Bonaparte
lived a life in good part devoted to science. He was in fact quite an
excellent zoologist, giving the majority of his attention over to the
birds. Bonaparte first made his name in this direction by completing Wilson's
American Ornithology after the latter's death, but while involved
in that project he began to question many of Cuvier's conclusions regarding
the systematic position of many other vertebrate groups. Using a wider
range of criteria (including physiological and developmental traits),
he suggested revisions in the placement of many major groups of all five
vertebrate classes; many of these were adopted. His classifications also
took into account zoogeographic data, and in turn his various lists, catalogs
and conspectuses served to bring greater attention to the relations between
geography and habit. His crowning achievement, the Conspectus generum
avium, ended up the prized traveling companion of many a mid-nineteenth
century field naturalist (Alfred Russel Wallace, for example, remarked
on its great usefulness).
--born in Paris, France, on 24 May 1803.
--1804: his father (Lucien, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte) moves the family
--1814: made Prince of Musignano by the Pope
--1823: comes to the United States and takes up residence near Philadelphia
--1825-1833: engaged in completing Alexander Wilson's American Ornithology
--1826: returns to Europe to investigate museum collections
--1828: briefly re-visits the U. S.
--1828: settles in Rome
--1831: publishes his completion of Alexander Wilson's American
Ornithology; Or the Natural History of the Birds of the United States,
in four volumes
--1838: publishes his A
Geographical and Comparative List of the Birds of Europe and North America
--1843: elected to the Academy of Sciences in Berlin
--1844: made a corresponding member of the Académie des Sciences
--1848: takes part in the Roman pro-nationalist movement
--1849: exiled from Italy
--1850: settles in Paris and returns to scientific work
--1850-1857: publishes his Conspectus
generum avium, in two volumes
--1854: made director of the Jardin des Plantes
--dies at Paris, France, on 29 July 1857.
--Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol.
--Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and
--The Emperor of Nature: Charles Lucien Bonaparte
and His World (2000).
--Proceedings of the
American Philosophical Society,
Vol. 122(4) (1978): 198-203.
Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights
Return to Home/Alphabetical Listing by Name
Return to Listing by Country
Return to Listing by Discipline