Aimé Goujaud, known as Bonpland

Aimé Goujaud, known as Bonpland was born in La Rochelle in 1773. He studied medicine and botany at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris. In 1799, he accepted Alexander de Humboldt's invitation to explore Latin America. Together, they explored and studied the ecosystems of Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico and the United States of America.

Returning to France in 1804, he was appointed superintendent of the gardens at Malmaison and the Domaine de Navarre by Empress Josephine, where he experimented with and created one of the finest acclimatization gardens (private) in Europe. Throughout this period, he supported South American patriots visiting Europe, in search of support for their independence cause.

Although his relationship with Humboldt was less close at this point, he collaborated with him for as long as his new position allowed on the publication of their expedition report, an unrivalled work that is the result of their experiences as travelers and their scientific research, entitled "Voyage aux régions équinoxiales du Nouveau Continent", and comprising 30 in-folio and in-quatro volumes published from 1807-1834, after the Empress's death in 1814, Bonpland moved to London to work for Francisco Antonio Zea. Karl Sigismund Kunth took his place with Humboldt in Paris, where he completed the exhaustive work of plant classification for the many books that Humboldt financed exclusively.

In 1816, he moved to Argentina to set up a botanical garden, but was eventually detained in Paraguay for ten years. He went on to develop mate cultivation and remained in South America until his death in Argentina in 1858. He was honored for his contributions to botany, notably with the Légion d'honneur in 1849.

Find out more about Humboldt and Bonpland's trip to Hispanic America:

About him :

On the itinerary of the field missions to Colombia carried out by MNHN and the Enlaces Artísticos Association: