Abraham Trembley

Abraham Trembley

Infobox Scientist
name = Abraham Trembley
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caption = Abraham Trembley
birth_date = 3 September 1710
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death_date = 12 May 1784
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nationality = Swiss
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field = naturalist
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known_for = hydra (genus)
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prizes = Copley Medal, 1743
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Abraham Trembley (3 September 1710 – 12 May 1784) was a Swiss naturalist. He is best known for being the first to study freshwater polyps or hydra and for being among the first to develop experimental zoology. His mastery of experimental method has led some historians of science to credit him as the "father of biology". [See "Ratcliff", op.cit., p. 556, n. 1.]


Trembley came from an officer's family from Geneva, where he studied mathematics before taking up the career of a tutor in the Netherlands. In 1736, while in charge of Count Bentinck's sons at the mansion of Sorgvliet near the Hague, he started working as a zoologist after discovering hydra in the stream flowing through the estate.

Work on hydra

While Trembley thought he had discovered a new species, Leeuwenhoek had in fact first published on hydra in 1702, describing them as a type of plant.

Trembley's findings were published in a 1744 book, "Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire d'un genre de polypes d'eau douce", translated into German in 1791 as "Abhandlungen zur Geschichte einer Polypenart des süssen Wassers".

Some attribute Trembley as being the first to study stem cells, although he obviously did not refer to them as such. Trembley did however make note of their incredible regenerative capacity.Fact|date=February 2007


* – [http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=author%3ARatcliff+intitle%3AAbraham+Trembley%E2%80%99s+Strategy+of+Generosity+and+the+Scope+of+Celebrity+in+the+Mid-Eighteenth+Century&as_publication=%5B%5BIsis+%28journal%29%7CIsis%5D%5D&as_ylo=2004&as_yhi=2004&btnG=Search Scholar search]
*"Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery", entries on Abraham Trembley, as reproduced on http://www.bookrags.com/Abraham_Trembley.
* [http://naturalhistory.mse.jhu.edu/ExhibitInformation/exhibitinfo_firstpg.html Animal, Vegetable and Mineral: Natural History books by ten authors] , on-line exhibit, Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University
* [http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/museum/esim.asp?c=300567 Online biography] , Institute and Museum of the History of Science, Florence


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