Jean René Constant Quoy, Dr.
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Born: 10/11/1790
Deceased: 04/07/1869
Nationality: French
Country of birth: France

Born on 10 November 1790 at Maillé (Vendée) to a family that counted among its members no less than ten surgeons in three generations, one of which was his own grandmother, a very rare occurrence for that time. He began his medical studies in 1807 at the Rochefort Naval School and sailed as auxiliary surgeon on a cruise to the Antilles (1808-1809). After receiving the degree of doctor of medicine at Montpellier in 1814, he carried out a cruise to Réunion (1814-1815) as surgeon-major, and with the same duties, he participated, with J. P. Gaimard as second surgeon, in the voyage round the world of the Uranie under the command of L. C. de Freycinet (1817-1820), during which he was in charge of geological observations. Named professor of anatomy at the Rochefort Naval School in 1824, decorated with the Legion of Honor in 1825, he soon requested a new assignment at sea; still in the company of J. P. Gaimard, he was surgeon-major on the Astrolabe under the command of J. S. C. Dumont d'Urville (1826-1829). An excellent observer, an artist of great talent, one of the greatest voyager-naturalists of his time, he again put together very large collections. While continuing his work in zoology in Paris where he wrote the zoology part of the Voyage of the Astrolabe, he was professor of medicine at the Rochefort Naval School from 1832 to 1835. Unsuccessful candidate for a chair in zoology at the Museum in 1832, he pursued his career in the naval hospitals at Toulon (1835-1837) and at Brest (1838-1848), before being appointed inspector general of the Naval Bureau of Medicine and Surgery from 1848 to 1858. Correspondent of the Academy of Sciences in 1830, correspondent of the Museum in 1844, commander in the Legion of Honor in 1862. Despite his uncertain health and the hard work inherent in the difficult conditions of navigation, Quoy remained a relentless worker, an enemy to intrigue, as modest as he was loyal, and a stranger to all worldly vanities. He died at Rochefort on 4 July 1869 (see Noel, 1960; Bauchot, 1994).