Joseph Paul Gaimard, Dr.
new search»expedition details»biography

Born: 31/01/1793
Deceased: 10/12/1858
Nationality: French
Country of birth: France

Born at Saint-Zacharie (Var) on 31 January 1793. As Naval surgeon, he took part, with the surgeon-major J. R. C. Quoy, in the expedition of the Uranie, commanded by L. C. de Freycinet (1817-1820), and the expedition of the Astrolabe, commanded by J. S. C. Dumont d'Urville (1826-1829). After a journey to Poland, Prussia, Austria, and Russia (1831-1832), where the Academy of Medicine put him charge of studying cholera, he went on two voyages on the Recherche to the coasts of Iceland and Greenland (1835 and 1836) looking for J. H. de Blosseville, who had disappeared on the Lilloise. As president of the Scientific Commission of the North, he made yet another voyage to Scandinavia, Lapland, Spitsbergen, and the Faroes (1837), and two cruises to Iceland (1838 and 1839). Staying in Paris from 1839 to 1848 to direct the Scientific Commission of Polar Sea Expeditions, he wrote the account of his voyages. After a very full and devoted scientific career (he had been elected correspondent of the Museum in 1825), he died in Paris on 10 December 1858 in near poverty and had to be buried at government expense. He brought back to the Museum large collections gathered during his many cruises.