S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Bruguiere, Mr Jean Guillaume (botany, invertebrate zoology)

Born: 1750, Montpellier, France.
Died: 1 October 1798, Ancona, Italy.

Jean Guillaume Bruguière, French physician, naturalist and diplomat, was connected to the University of Montpellier and was interested in invertebrates, particularly molluscs. In 1773 he accompanied the explorer Kerguelen-Trémarec on the latter's second expedition to the southern seas. Subsequently he studied the coal fossils of France. In 1790 he joined the entomologist G.A. Olivier on an expedition to Persia (now Iran) during which he discovered fossils in pozzolana (volcanic dust). However, he could not continue the journey owing to health problems. Then in 1792, though still ill, the French government sent him on an extended expedition during which he visited the Greek archipelago, the Middle East, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion and the Kerguelen Islands. On his way to the Indian Ocean he did some collecting at the Cape. He was one of the first collectors of South African molluscs known by name, and his specimens were purchased by the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris in 1799, shortly after his death on the expedition's return journey. He was admitted as a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1796.

Bruguière published two major works dealing with invertebrates: Histoire naturelle des vers... (Natural history of worms; Paris, 1789-1832, 3 vols), with the famous French naturalist Jean B.P.A. de M. de Lamarck as joint author and continued after Bruguière's death by G.P. Deshayes; and Tableau encyclopédique et méthodique des trois règnes de la Nature: vers, coquilles, mollusques et polypes diverses (Encyclopaedic description and systematics of the three kingdoms of nature: worms, shells, molluscs and diverse polyps (Paris, 1791-1816). The taxa he named included eleven genera and many species, mostly molluscs. Lamarck named a genus of mangroves from the east coast of southern Africa Bruguiera in his honour.

List of sources:
Debus, A.G. (Ed.) World who's who in science. Chicago: Marquis, 1968.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

Jean Guillaume Bruguière. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jean_Guillaume_Bruguière&oldid=207831987 Retrieved 26 August 2008.

Kilburn, R.N. A brief history of marine malacology in South Africa. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 1999, Vol. 54(1), pp. 31-41.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Compiled by: C. Plug