Alfred Mathieu Giard

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Alfred Mathieu Giard (1846-1908)

Alfred Mathieu Giard (1846–1908) was a French zoologist born in Valenciennes on August 8, 1846.

In 1867 he began his studies of natural sciences at the École Normale Supérieure, followed by work as préparateur de zoologie at the laboratory of Henri de Lacaze-Duthiers (1821–1901) in Paris. In 1872 he defended his doctoral thesis with a study on compound ascidians titled Recherches sur les ascidies composées ou synascidies.

From 1873 to 1882 he was professeur suppléant of natural history at the Faculty of Sciences in Lille, and in 1887 became a lecturer at the École Normale Supérieure. In 1874 he founded a biological station at Wimereux (Université Lille Nord de France). He is credited for putting together an excellent school of zoology at Lille, and from 1888 until his death was a professor at the Faculté des Sciences of Paris, holding the chair of "evolution of living organisms". Following his death he was succeeded at the Wimereux station by Maurice Caullery (1868–1958). Among his numerous students and assistants was philosopher of science Félix Le Dantec (1869-1917).[1]

Alfred Mathieu Giard by Paul Richer.

He is remembered for his extensive research of crustaceans, particularly Epicaridea (parasitic isopods) and members of the family Bopyridae. In 1877 he was the first scientist to describe the phylum Orthonectida (parasites of Ophiurida). In 1905 Giard coined the word poecilogonie (poecilogony) to describe a phenomenon in which similar adults develop from dissimilar larvae in marine invertebrates.[2] He is credited for providing a description of Giardia lamblia, a gastrointestinal protozoan parasite that is named after himself and Czech physician Vilem Dusan Lambl (1824–1895). The illness associated with the parasite is sometimes called giardiasis.[3] In 1894 he introduced the term "anhydrobiosis" (the ability of organisms to survive extreme dehydration).[4][5]

Giard was influenced by the work of Ernst Haeckel, and thought that Lamarckism and Darwinism were complementary theories. He was especially interested in the relationship between host and parasite in nature (both plants and animals), and used the term "parasitic castration" to define sexual characteristic changes in the host as a result of the parasite, even when the sex glands of the host are not directly involved.

Amongst his very numerous publications are 300 devoted to entomology. He was a figure of importance in applied entomology in France and a member of the Société entomologique de France. From 1904 to 1908 he was president of the Société de biologie. He died on his birthday on August 8, 1908 in Orsay.

References[edit]

  • Lhoste, J. 1987 Les entomologistes français. 1750–1950. INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique), Paris.
  • Peyerimhoff, P. de 1932 La Société entomologique de France (1832–1931). Soc. Ent. France, Livre du Centenaire, Paris.
  • Alfred Mathieu Giard @ Who Named It
  1. ^ Repères chronologiques Service des Archives de l'Institut Pasteur Félix Le Dantec (1869-1917)
  2. ^ [1] Discussion on Poecilogony, Interpolations into Juvenile Stages
  3. ^ [2] Giardia lamblia @ Who Named It
  4. ^ Archives Department of the Pasteur Institute Chronology Alfred Giard (1846-1908)
  5. ^ A Dry Phase of Life Freeze-drying and storage stability of Lactobacillus coryniformis Si3 in sucrose-based formulations by Åsa Schoug