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Louis Agassiz, Swiss geologist

Louis Agassiz, Swiss geologist


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Jean Louis Rudolphe Agassiz (1807-1873), Swiss geologist and palaeontologist. Agassiz was born at Motier in Switzerland, and in early life was taught at home. He later studied at Lausanne, gaining a degree in medicine before branching out into natural history. In 1820 he catalogued a major collection of fish from Brazil, becoming an expert in icthyology. He studied and classified fossil fish, and was appointed Professor of Natural history at Neuchatel. During studies of Alpine glaciers he noted phenomena created by moving ice that were seen elsewhere in Europe, and concluded that the whole continent had once been covered by ice - an Ice Age. In 1846 he went to America for a lecture tour, and was persuaded to become Professor of Zoology and Geology at Harvard where he later founded the Museum of Comparative Zoology.

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