Råshult, Sweden, May 23, 1707-Uppsala, Sweden, January 10, 1778

Carl Nilsson Linnaeus known as Carl von Linné following the award of a peerage, was a naturalist and explorer who has been called the “father of taxonomy” due to the invention of the system of classification of living organisms.

He studied medicine at the University of Lund and Uppsala University, while he obtained training in botany and learned about sexuality of plants. In 1732 he traveled to Lapland to learn natural history, what became the publication of his book Flora lapponica in 1737.

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Carl Linnaeus

In 1735, during his stay in the Netherlands, he published the major work for which he is remembered: Systema Naturae, with a first classification of plants. In this regard, Linnaeus classified them into three kingdoms and in various classes, orders, genera and species, giving a binomial nomenclature consisting of the genus and species. This system changed the way in which scientists pursued their studies because he gave accuracy and brevity.

He was one of the first naturalists to describe food chains and considered Ecology as a distinct and important area of research; he reasoned interrelationships in nature as the economy of nature. Other important works came to light years later, such as Fundamentica BotanicaGenera Plantarum, Classes Plantarum, Critica Botanica and Cliffortianus Hortus.

After his appointment as Professor of Botany at the University of Uppsala, Linnaeus increased his prestige and was recognized as the most influential scientist of his time. In 1753, he published Species Plantarum, text which describes about 6,000 species of plants and extends its naming system to include animals. In 1757, he received the title of Knight of the Order of the Polar Star and changed his name to Carl von Linné.

Linnaeus laid the foundations of modern taxonomy, and was one of the founders of ecology as a science.