Jean-Baptiste-Pierre-Antoine de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck, more commonly known as Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, was a legendary French biologist who advocated that acquired characters are inheritable. Though his theory of heredity has been refuted by modern genetics and evolutionary theory, nevertheless Lamarck is widely regarded as one of the most influential naturalists and an important forerunner of evolution.
Early Life and Career:
Born in Bazentin, Picardy, France in 1768 to an aristocrat father, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck started studying botany, and issued his first work, “la Flore Française”, in 1778. The book gained him fame and with his good friend and naturalist Georges Buffon, he was made a member of the Academy of Sciences in 1779.
Lamarck was apppointed an associate botanist in 1783. He soon gained worldwide acclaim after beginning a career in 1788 at the prestigious botanical garden, Jardin du Roi, Paris (now Jardin des Plantes). As the garden was reorganized in 1793, he gave some great ideas to setup the structure of the new Museum of Natural History. The same same year, Lamarck was selected as the professor of the Chair of Invertebrate Zoology.
Lamarck’s brilliant contributions to science comprise of extraordinary work in botany, paleontology, geology, meteorology and chemistry. A few of his famous publications include “Système des Animaux sans vertèbres” (1801) and “Recherche sur l’organisation des espèces” (1802). He was appointed a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1779.
Later Life and Death:
Lamarck went blind and died a poor man in Paris on December 18, 1829.