Agassiz, Jean Louis Rudolphe -

(1807-1877): Swiss naturalist, paleontologist and geologist. He received his degree in medical sciences 1830 and followed by studying with Cuvier at the Musée d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris (1831-32). In 1832 he became a professor in Neuchâtel, and then in 1848 he served as professor at Harvard, where he founded the Museum of Comparative Zoology in 1858. A world expert on fishes, mollusks and echinoderms, Agassiz was also the originator of the concept of the "Great Ice Age," an idea which proved to be useful for the investigation of climate change and for the reconstruction of ice age history. He was the last distinguished paleontologist to reject Darwin's evolutionary theories in favor the ideas of repeated extinction and creation events, in the tradition of d'Orbigny and Cuvier.