Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
John Lawrence LeConte
John Lawrence LeConte (May 13, 1825 - November 15, 1883) was the most important American entomologist of the 19th century, responsible for naming and describing a large number of insect taxa, particularly beetles.
A member of the scientifically-inclined LeConte family, John Lawrence was born in New York City, the son of naturalist John Eatton LeConte . John Lawrence graduated from Mount St. Mary's College in 1842, and from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1846. While in school he made several trips west, including to Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains, and in 1848 returned to the Lake Superior region with Louis Agassiz. LeConte went to California in 1849, and explored the Colorado River until 1851.
He moved to Philadelphia in 1852, residing there for the rest of his life, but made a number of exploring trips, including to Honduras (1867), Panama, Europe, Algiers, and Egypt. During the American Civil War he worked as a surgeon and medical inspector , reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel.
LeConte was active in the scientific societies of his time, with stints as vice-president of the American Philosophical Society (1880-1883) and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1873). He was a founder of the American Entomological Society , and a charter member of the National Academy of Sciences.
- Classification of the Coleoptera of North America (1861, 1873)
- New Species of North American Coleoptera (1866, 1873)
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