Candolle, Augustin Pyrame de (1778-1841) was an influential taxonomist and botanist. He is known for his vast collection of scientific writings.
Candolle attended the College de Calvin and then studied medicine for two years at the Academy of Geneva. From 1796 to 1808, he lived in Paris, where he studied medicine and natural sciences, with an emphasis on botany. In 1797, he began publishing the results of his studies on plants. In 1804, he received his M.D. degree from the University of Paris. Candolle left Paris in 1808 to become the chair of botany at the Ecole de Medecine and the Faculte des Sciences in Montpellier. He remained there until 1816, when he returned to Geneva as chair in natural history.
Back in Geneva, Candolle oversaw the reorganization of the botanical gardens founded by the Societe de Physique. He also helped establish a natural history museum and a conservatory. In his writings, Candolle explored all aspects of botany, including topics such as evolution, ecology, biometry, and agronomy. In Elementary Theory of Botany (1813), he introduced the term taxonomy for the scientific classification of organisms. His seven-volume Guide to Natural Classification for the Plant Kingdom (1824-1829) laid the foundation for modern studies of plant evolution and classification. He had an interest in medical botany and discovered the plant Reticularia rosea during his outings in the Swiss countryside.
Candolle served as rector of the Academy of Geneva from 1831 to 1832. When he retired, his son Alphonse succeeded him as chair of botany. In all, Candolle published 180 papers during his life, and left 40 unfinished manuscripts when he died. He also wrote a number of biographies. Many of his papers are considered classics in the field, and more than 300 plants have been dedicated in his memory.