Louis Agassiz

1807 (Môtiers, Switzerland) – 1873 (Cambridge, Mass.)

Agassiz studied glaciation in the Alps with Charpentier, falling out with his friend Schimper over which of them deserved credit for the theory of the Ice Age (Schimper working the main ideas out first, Agassiz – ever the self-promoter – omitting his name when he published). He classified Brazilian fish (in Latin) for Martius. He studied under Cuvier and Humboldt in Paris; Longfellow and Emerson were friends after his arrival in the U.S.; Edward Morse and James were among his students. Thoreau supplied him with freshwater turtles for his research, and Darwin admired his work on glaciation, despite Agassiz’ strong opposition to Darwinism.