Augustin Pyramus de Candolle

Augustin Pyramus de Candolle
Candolle Augustin Pyrame de 1778-1841.jpg
Born(1778-02-04)4 February 1778
Died9 September 1841(1841-09-09) (aged 63)
Geneva, Switzerland
NationalityGenevan, then Swiss (1815)
Other namesAugustin Pyrame de Candolle
EducationCollège de Genève
Known forSystem of Taxonomy, Principle of "Nature's War"
  • Augustin de Candolle (father)
  • Louise Eléonore Brière (mother)
RelativesAlphonse Pyramus de Candolle, son; Casimir de Candolle, grandson; Richard Émile Augustin de Candolle, great-grandson
AwardsRoyal Medal (1833); associate member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Scientific career
FieldsBotany, agronomy, phytogeography, chronobiology
InstitutionsUniversity of Montpellier, Collège de Genève
PatronsGeorges Cuvier
InfluencesRené Louiche Desfontaines, Jean Pierre Étienne Vaucher
InfluencedCharles Darwin, Jean-Louis Berlandier, Marie-Anne Libert
Author abbrev. (botany)DC.

Augustin Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (UK: /kænˈdɒl/, US: /kɒ̃ˈdɔːl/, French: [kɑ̃dɔl]; 4 February 1778 – 9 September 1841) was a Swiss botanist. René Louiche Desfontaines launched de Candolle's botanical career by recommending him at a herbarium. Within a couple of years de Candolle had established a new genus, and he went on to document hundreds of plant families and create a new natural plant classification system. Although de Candolle's main focus was botany, he also contributed to related fields such as phytogeography, agronomy, paleontology, medical botany, and economic botany.

De Candolle originated the idea of "Nature's war", which influenced Charles Darwin and the principle of natural selection.[1] de Candolle recognized that multiple species may develop similar characteristics that did not appear in a common evolutionary ancestor; a phenomenon now known as convergent evolution. During his work with plants, de Candolle noticed that plant leaf movements follow a near-24-hour cycle in constant light, suggesting that an internal biological clock exists. Though many scientists doubted de Candolle's findings, experiments over a century later demonstrated that ″the internal biological clock″ indeed exists.

De Candolle's descendants continued his work on plant classification; son Alphonse and grandson Casimir de Candolle contributed to the Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis, a catalog of plants begun by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle.

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